by Олександра Гармаш

Every year on the 15th of October, strating in 1998, most countries of the world celebrate INTERNATIONAL DAY OF RURAL WOMEN. This day was established to recognize and honor the contribution that rural women invest in their families, communities and the world at large. Unfortunately, the activities of rural women remained unrecognized and undervalued for a long time.

This is despite the fact that they (rural women) produce more than half of agricultural products in the world, affecting both food security and economic development in general.

In an open letter dated 1998 United Nations organization, referring to the rural women of the world, said: “You remain invisible and unrecognized and many people still perceive you as inactive and dependent”. Every year the United Nations organization provides a slogan that reflects the main problems, which rural women are facing every day, problems that affect the fact that it is rural women, who are the most vulnerable category of the adult population in the world. As per 2015 the United Nations organization introduced a slogan “Empower rural women”. This slogan is comprehensive, because it is aimed at solving the set of problems: access to resources (industrial, financial, etc.), education (including access to modern innovative knowledge), gender equality (for example, being able to make decisions and influence processes that take place outside the private farms and are in the public sphere), and so on.

Implementing the main goal “Increase the development of small and medium horticultural production enterprises, especially those headed by women,” our project plans and carries out close and fruitful cooperation with rural women. Thus, on October 30th an event “Empowering Rural Women” dedicated to the International Day of Rural Women was held in Kherson, it was held in partnership with the All-Ukrainian Public Organization “The National Female Farmers Council”.

The main purpose of the event was to enable clients of the Project, who are active leaders in their communities and in the market of Horticulture, describe the problems, which at the present moment limit their business potential and have a negative impact on quality of life of rural women as well as their families and communities as a whole. (Analytics and detailed review of the problems highlighted during the event will be presented at our website next week)

The raised problems (by rural women, clients of the Project) were ranged in order of their importance (for the so-called participants of the event) and the most relevant of them were determined. During the exercise “World Café” the most relevant problems were dicussed, the directions of possible ways of their solutions were offered as well.

As it turned out, the most acute problems are

  • unpredictability and insecurity of sales of products;
  • restriction or absebce of access to finances;
  • restriction or absebce of access to irrigation;
  • issues of gender-based range of problems.

To be continued ...

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