Compared to other wealth and income opportunities, livestock are inflation-proof, self-perpetuating assets that women can own and benefit from. In addition to wealth accumulation, they provide income and nutritious food for their families.

While women assume much of the responsibility for raising livestock in many developing countries, they often face financial and cultural barriers to maximising this potential. By investing in women farmers, women, their families and communities can benefit.

Women’s role in livestock enterprises

Two-thirds of the world’s 600 million poor livestock keepers are rural women who do most of the day-to-day farm animal management as well as the processing, marketing and selling of animal produce. But due to social norms, women’s control over the income generated often remains substantially less than men’s.

Women’s empowerment

Women who access and control livestock assets improve the health, education and food security of their households. Ninety per cent of income under the control of women is channelled back into their households or local communities, compared to only 30–40% of  income controlled by men.

Women and household nutrition

Women’s decisions about what they eat while pregnant and what food they provide their infants in the first 1,000 days of their lives generate lifelong health, growth and cognitive benefits or costs for those children.