Written by 9:30 pm Food

#BTColumn – In celebration of our rural women

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By Wayne Campbell

“Rural women play a critical role in ensuring the world might be fed – yet they proceed to experience systemic racism, structural poverty and discrimination.”- António Guterres, UN Secretary-General.

Historically, the voices of girls have been muted. Unfortunately, women’s lively contribution to the farming sector stays often hidden and unpaid. Rural women have needed to bear a voiceless atmosphere in each the private and public domains for a few years.  Lots of us have been experiencing food insecurity for the primary time in our memories. There are some scholars who’ve blamed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The international community commemorates the International Day of Rural Women on October 15.  This yr’s theme was “Rural Women Cultivating Good Food for All”. The day is about aside annually to spotlight the essential role that rural women and girls play within the food systems of the world. Most if not all of us enjoy good food but we oftentimes don’t make the connection that rural women are chargeable for same. The United Nations (UN) states that from production of crops to processing, preparing and distributing foods, women’s labour paid and unpaid feeds their families, communities and the world. Yet, they don’t wield equal power with men, and because of this, they earn less income and experience higher food insecurity. The UN adds despite our planet’s capability to supply sufficient and good food for all, hunger, malnourishment, and food insecurity are rising in lots of parts of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic, together with climate crises, has made matters worse: some 2.37 billion people didn’t have enough to eat in 2020 which is 20 per cent greater than the yr before.

This International Day of Rural Women offers us a renewed opportunity to commit to a unique way of organizing our world, to construct on the vision of the Feminist Plan and on the outcomes and multi-stakeholder commitments of the recent United Nations Food System Summit, in order that rural women profit equally from their productivity, with good food enjoyed by all.

The Feminist Plan calls for strengthened partnerships between governments and civil society to scale up gender-responsive agroecology, an alternative choice to industrial agriculture that has proven advantages for girls small-scale farmers, and which supports food security and protects precious biodiversity and ecosystems. UN Women will proceed supporting programmes that empower rural women, while bettering communities and our planet. The Joint Programme on Rural Women’s Economic Empowerment that we implement with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have reached 80,000 rural women across Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda. It has applied integrated approaches to support rural women’s livelihoods by addressing discriminatory social norms and unpaid care and domestic work, alongside increasing agricultural productivity, which has led to enhanced food security and improved nutrition. In Senegal, UN Women works with REFAN, the Network of Female Rice Producers of the North, to support rural women along the rice value chain, something which is essential not just for livelihoods and access to food and nutrition, but to reducing reliance on fossil fuels in an effort to combat climate change. This International Day of Rural Women offers the worldwide community a renewed opportunity to commit to a unique way of organizing our world, to construct on the vision of the Feminist Plan and on the outcomes and multi-stakeholder commitments of the recent United Nations Food System Summit, in order that rural women profit equally from their productivity, with good food enjoyed by all.


Rural women are the backbone for any society. Nevertheless, in spite the incontrovertible fact that some many ladies are employed in the sphere of agriculture speaks clearly to the gendered realities and  double standards rural women experience. In accordance with the United Nations, lower than 15 per cent of agricultural landowners are women. That is problematic especially in instances where proof of ownership is required with a view to function collateral to access funds from financial institutions.  Consequently women will proceed to lag behind when it comes to expansion of agricultural holdings and access to finance.  Moreover, around 30 per cent of rural women give birth with out a expert medical examiner present as compared to 10 per cent for urban women.   Consequently, rural women face a rise probability of life-threatening complications, severe bleeding, infection and maternal mortality.  Disturbingly, many of the 3.7 billion not connected to the web are rural women and girls. This clearly impacts rural women in limiting their access to knowledge and data, economic opportunities and their general well-being.  The UN further adds that only 60 per cent of rural women have access to secure drinking water as compared to 86 per cent of urban women. Lest we forget, women and girls are sometimes chargeable for fetching water in rural communities. Unfortunately, these chores limit access to education of rural women and girls on condition that a lot time is spent related to household tasks within the domestic sphere.  Sadly, rural women proceed to be underserved.

Empowerment of Rural Women

We must always seize each opportunity which comes across to acknowledge and rejoice women.  The time has come for governments to speculate in the event and capability constructing of rural women.  There must be a reform of land ownership whereby rural women could have more access to land with a view to cultivate and produce food on a much larger scale. An infusion of investment can also be desirable in rural health care with a view to facilitate rural women and girls. The national curriculum must conscious of the needs of rural women. Moreover, more agricultural clubs and societies are need in our education system this might be a collaborative effort with the 4- H clubs. Moreover the federal government looks examine how best to present more support and resources to strengthen the Jamaica Network of Rural Women Producers which advocates on behalf of rural women. The one way for a rustic to realize sustainable development is by empowering their women, especially rural women.  On every International Day of Rural women allow us to stand in solidarity with rural women and their organizations in every single place as they seek to influence and rewrite the choices that shape their lives.

Within the words of Ertharin Cousin, giving women farmers access to the resources they need would lift as much as 150 million out of hunger.

Wayne Campbell is an educator and social commentator with an interest in development policies as they affect culture and or gender issues. [email protected] @WayneCamo © #ruralwomen #InternationalDayofRuralWomen

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