International Women’s Day, a global commemoration, shines a spotlight on the remarkable accomplishments of women who have championed economic, cultural, political, and social causes on a worldwide scale. Its origins trace back to 1908 when a momentous event unfolded in New York City, as 15,000 women marched demanding crucial rights, including suffrage, improved wages, and reduced working hours. Throughout the passing decades, International Women’s Day has persistently stood at the forefront of advocating for women’s rights, adapting to new methods and approaches that resonate with different generations. As this annual occasion continues to remind us of the progress achieved, it also underscores the ongoing endeavours required to ensure equity and empowerment for women across the globe.

VALPRO Path pays sincere homage to the remarkable achievements and exceptional contributions made by women worldwide in transforming the food-chain and bolstering the production of plant-based proteins. Our primary objective is to cultivate an environment in Europe where plant protein independence thrives, and to achieve this, it is essential that we persistently advance with united determination and unwavering collaboration. Through empowering one another and firmly believing in the strength of collective solidarity, we pave the way toward the realization of our shared aspirations. According to FAO despite the agrifood systems being the major employer of women globally and the importance of agrifood systems for women’s livelihoods and the welfare of their families, women’s roles tend to be marginalized and their working conditions are likely to be worse than men’s – irregular, informal, part-time, low-skilled, labour-intensive, and thus vulnerable. Women’s access to land, inputs, services, finance, and digital technology – which is key to working in agrifood systems – continues to lag behind men. Discriminatory social norms and rules affecting women and girls are at the heart of gender inequality and are slow to change. Coping mechanisms and resilience to shocks and stressors are shaped by gender inequalities, and shocks and crises have a greater negative impact on women’s livelihoods in agrifood systems than they do on men.

By nurturing a harmonious atmosphere that promotes cooperation, mutual support, and collective empowerment, we envision a future in which the boundless potential of women’s ingenuity and unwavering dedication flourishes. This, in turn, will spur unprecedented progress in plant protein production, propelling us into a radiant era characterized by self-sufficiency and sustainable nourishment.