The disproportionate burden on womenin the agricultural sector in North Africa1


The South Mediterranean region is exposed to numerous challenges related to food, climate, resource availability, and social-economic instability. Characterized by a strong demographic growth, the region has seen consumption patterns and food demand increase recently. The lack of sustainable resource management coupled with the impact of climate change threatens food security and undermines the stability of the region where agriculture is often one of the main employers. It is likely that the domestic food supply will be unable to meet the growing domestic demand and that pressure on resources already threatened by climate change will increase due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Desertification, along with decreasing natural resources availability and climate change, has directly affected the agricultural patterns and crops; and threatens the economy of North African countries (representing a loss of 0.54% of the GDP of Morocco and 0.8% of the one of Tunisia2). Moreover, water scarcity represents a significant challenge, as it further jeopardizes food security and biodiversity.
These challenges are likely to increase existing gender inequalities driven by patriarchal social norms and structures. This could create political, socio-economic and systemic barriers that further