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The impact of the shea nut industry on women’s empowerment in Burkina Faso

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Paulina Rowicka.

For centuries shea butter has been referred to as “women’s gold” not only due to its rich golden colour but because it provides employment opportunities, medicinal benefits and nutrition to millions of women across Africa. The sector employs an estimated 3 million women across West Africa, generates between $90-$200 million a year from exports and impacts entire communities by promoting further economic activity (USAID, 2010). Despite these economic gains it remains unclear whether shea simply provides women a source of income or if the industry does in fact “empower” women economically as it is often suggested. Furthermore, a deeper analysis on how the sector impacts women’s overall well-being is needed in order to inform future policies and interventions.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) funded this multidimensional study, with the objective to gain a deeper understanding of how women benefit economically, socially and politically from the shea sector.

This talk is part of the Caius MCR/SCR research talks series.

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