Gender Equity

Agricultural enterprises can help level the playing field for rural women, boosting their economic opportunities and agency.

The Challenge

Women are the backbone of the agricultural sector. Yet numerous barriers—educational, economic, and social—prevent them from accessing vital resources and opportunities. This inequity doesn't just impact women; it can have damaging consequences for rural economies as a whole.

The good news is that by investing in rural women, we can increase agricultural productivity, reduce poverty and hunger, and promote economic growth. Closing the gender gap would not only help women prosper, it would help their families and communities thrive.

Our Approach

Seek out and unlock potential of businesses committed to gender equity.

Build women's financial and agricultural knowledge so they can thrive, personally and professionally.

Encourage and support women-led design of new products and services that benefit the whole community.

Demonstrate a model for investing in women in agriculture to help catalyze gender-smart policies and practices.

Our Impact

$63M

in loans to gender-inclusive and women-led businesses.

150K

women who received training to build their professional skills.

541

additional jobs for women supported by Root Capital.

554K

women farmers reached since 2012.


Stories of Impact


Lidia and her family. Un futuro más sostenible para las abejas—y los apicultores—en el sur de México

En la península de Yucatán, México, ubicada lejos del mar, la ciudad de Cacaptxa está llena de abejas. En esta comunidad maya, la miel es más que un negocio, es un punto de referencia cultural. Muchas familias han criado abejas durante generaciones. Algunos aún recuerdan cuando la miel se usaba en lugar de las visitas al médico para cerrar las…

Lidia and her family. A More Sustainable Future for Bees—and their Keepers—in Southern Mexico

On Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, nestled far from the sea, the town of Kankabchen is teeming with honeybees. In this Maya community, honey is more than just a business—it’s a cultural touchstone. Families have raised bees for generations. Some can still remember when honey was used in place of doctors’ visits to close wounds and treat cataracts. Lidia Maribel Moo Poot…

Women in Agriculture Initiative: 2019 Annual Report

At Root Capital, we believe that agricultural enterprises are one of the most effective platforms for delivering services and opportunities to rural women. This report highlights our impact in 2019, during which we reached a record number of women farmers, increased the proportion of women in our training workshops, and helped rural businesses strengthen gender equity.

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This “Hidden Influencer” is Expanding Opportunity for Women Farmers in Colombia

It’s 3 o’clock in the morning. The crickets have stopped chirping and hours will pass before the rooster crows. Elizabeth Garzón Piamba is preparing the fire for breakfast while her family sleeps. After she feeds her children and gets them ready for school, she heads out to work as the sun just peeks over the horizon. Elizabeth is a coffee farmer. And she has 4,000 trees to take care of.

In Peru’s Coffeelands, These Women Mean Business

Along the impossibly steep and narrow road winding up to the village of Sanchirio Palomar, the only sounds are the rustling tree canopy and birdsong. It’s fitting, since the village’s name—a combination of Spanish and indigenous words—means “cold river with many birds.” With internet and reliable phone service only arriving last month, Sanchirio Palomar feels, at first, like a sleepy place where not much happens. But in reality, this remote Peruvian village pulses with ambition, creativity, and drive. Just ask Patricia. 

What We’ve Learned Through Seven Years of Our Women in Agriculture Initiative

For years, Dora Lisa Carrión Gómez rose early every morning to open Saja, a café in the quiet Andean town of San Ignacio in northern Peru. Saja is owned and operated by members of the women’s group of APROCASSI, a coffee cooperative where, for a time, Dora Lisa also served as president. “Women have always been discriminated against,” says Dora Lisa. “But when I joined APROCASSI in 2006, I saw this new reality: a reality where women could work, could advance. A reality where women could have power.”

Women in Agriculture Initiative: 2018 Annual Report

Root Capital supports the advancement of rural women, whether they work on the farm or in the boardroom. This report highlights our impact in 2018, during which we reached 246,000 rural women—an all-time high—and expanded our gender-inclusive programming to address new and diverse challenges faced by women farmers, managers, and employees.

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How Climate Change Impacts Women Farmers—and What We’re Doing About It

Maria Eufemia Madonado Ocaño holds a small leaf in her hands, mottled yellow where it should be vibrant and green. This leaf represents her livelihood, decimated by la roya—a fungus that develops when conditions are warmer and wetter than usual. The yellow spots are a symptom, but the disease is climate change.

Transforming the Lives of Rural Women

Bertha Nzabanita, Rwandan coffee farmer and long-time member of the Musasa cooperative. One field. That’s all Bertha Nzabanita had left after the devastation of the Rwandan genocide left her a widow. One field, a young son to raise, and few options.

Women in Agriculture Initiative: 2017 Annual Report

Since launching the Women in Agriculture Initiative (WAI) in 2012, we've seen again and again how gender-inclusive businesses help women grow a better future—for themselves and their communities. We are pleased to share our 2017 WAI annual report, which showcases how Root Capital is impacting the lives of rural women.

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