Looking Back on the International Day of Rural Women

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

On October 15th, across the globe, ILC members celebrated the International Day of Rural Women. In Latin America, Africa and Asia, rallies, conferences, workshops and events took place to shine a spotlight on the important role women play in agricultural development! These were their experiences...

Association for Land Reforms and Development (ALRD) holds empowering seminar

In order to celebrate International Rural Women's Day and acknowledge the effort, contribution and work of rural women in agriculture sector in Bangladesh, ALRD organized a national seminar on 11th October 2015 in association with Nijera Kori (NK) and Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA). One hundred and twenty people including professors, journalists, development activists, rights activists, women leaders, rural women farmers and others, participated in the event.  Bangladeshi women’s participation in farming, their contribution and lack of access to land was the main highlight of the event. Through this campaign on women's access to land ALRD extended solidarity and highlighted rural women’s issues by printing and disseminating a poster and leaflet to partners.  Thousands of people, rural women in particular, actively participated in ALRD's partner events and shared their challenges, struggles, deprivations.

The most interesting aspect was the lively participation of the rural women in the event and the sharing of their ideas and thoughts in the session. In this event inspiring women such as, rural women leaders Topati Rani Mondol and Amena Begum came and shared their stories of struggles, challenges, obstacles and success against the land sharks and authorities of their area. Topati Rani Mondol said that farmers are the backbone of our nation’s economy while women participation and contribution in agriculture sector in Bangladesh is increasing but they deprived from their institutional recognition as farmers. Amena Begum had to fight her husband, to ensure her rights to own her land. Her inspiring story was able to light a fire inside the participants and make them hopeful about their future. While, Hazera Begum shared about her success in organic farming through practicing women cooperative. She was the example for other participating women how does the cooperative work effectively by collective efforts.

There are many  good examples that need to coordination and collaboration. We hope to connect this and work together in the near future in order to ensure the rural women demands. 

Nitlapan raises awareness on women's role in agricultural production

The  awareness raising events brought together over 140 women from various regions in Nicaragua, including el Tuma, la Dalia, Matiguas,  Santa María de Pantasma, El Chile,  Bocas de Vilan, 4 Esquina, Cuero Rollo, Bocana de Tawa, El Naranjo  and the territory of AMASAU.  We developed social activities on themes such as gendre disparities in the field, the role of women in food production and the social and economic development of rural families.  We are developing processes which will aid in the identification and unfolding of economic initiatives, studies on the issues which women face in tenure management.  In the case of Nicaragua, rural women are a vital force in the development processes and key actors of the socioeconomic progress , who contribute to the well-being of their families and the development of rural communities.

COCOCH sheds light on the work of rural women

The event, which brought attention to the artisinal work of rural women in Nicaragua and the role which it plays in the economic development of families , gathered over 700 participants! The event showed that women play integral roles, not only in family life, but also part of ensuring the food security and economic development of the country at large.  This is reflected in the hard work which women do on the ground and it is for this reason that the  fight in defense of the rights and equal opportunity of women is essential in all areas of life, on a daily basis.  

FAA advocates for rural women via social media 

What we did in honour of rural women, uploading videos and photos, had a high level of impact because the content received many views and furthermore, many positive responses.  Showing how women work emphasizes their value, bringing forth their vital contribution to Food Security and Sovereignty.  The women felt valued and they enjoyed the opportunity to display their reality.  

WILDAF supports rural women in expressing themselves 

The activity consisted of conducting a study as a prelude to International Rural Women's Day, whose objective was to collect inputs from rural women, to highlight their voices, in order to advocate with decision makers.   The most important part of the day was that women were able to express themselves.  You can find here the testimony of a woman from the village of Kpota (Djidja).  "She reports that there is no change in her standard of living despite even if she managed to access land.  Due to the fact that she was not able to bear children after many years of marriage, the land which she had was taken away from her.  She was subjected to verbal violence and psychological aggression."  The study undertaken in preparation for the 9th International Rural Women's Day, while only relevant to certain villages in South Benin, recounts the life experience of rural women around the world and confirms the presence of gender injustice relating access to and control of agricultural land by women and men.  It also shows that women are experiencing a rising consciousness around the need to defend their natural resource rights, including land.  Let us work together to create a slogan: Women! Our Land! Our Lives! A reality.  

CICODEV reports on women's access to land 

In Senegal, CICODEV and its partner organisations celebrated the 2015 edition of the International Day of Rural Women in Senegal, by underlining the importance of access to and control of land by rural women.  A series of audio and video reports of women farmers, gave women a platform through which to express their difficulties in accessing and controlling land and solutions to this hurdle.  The messages that they highlight will be brought forth to national decision-makers, in the context of the Kilimandjaro campaign, which will bring together women's organizations at the food of Mount Kilimandjaro.  The focus on access to and control over land by rural women was a strong pretext to  mark International Rural Women's Day.  The series of audio and video reports allowed women who are confronted with such issues to express themselves.