To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Awareness on the invisible work by Rural Women celebrated globally yesterday

A global awareness and information campaign to bring rural women - the world's invisible workers - into the limelight has been celebrated yesterday (15 October) with the theme, "The right to food: rural women produce and provide".

Gender-specific statistics gathered in recent years has confirmed that the majority of poor people in the world are women, and these women are overwhelmingly responsible for feeding hungry men and children, as well as themselves.

They grow, gather and catch the family meals, bring home water and wood, and prepare and cook the food. Where the rural poor get enough to eat, it is most often largely through the efforts, skills and knowledge of mothers, wives, sisters and daughters. Despite this, these women are often the last to gain access to resources, training and financial loans.

In many countries, the plight of rural women is worsening, as young and able-bodied men leave for the cities in search of work. The women left behind struggling to raise families and manage farms alone.

Yesterday provides rural women and their organizations with a focal point to raise the profile of rural women; sensitize both government and public to their crucial, yet largely unrecognized roles; and promote action in their support. Initiatives on how to celebrate this day are left to individual organizations and communities, according to their own traditions and requirements. However, activities or events should be concrete and visible.

It is expceted that this action undertaken by rural and farming women in all parts of the world on the very same day, in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation, would strengthen the impact of the day.

According to a cost-benefit analysis carried out by the World Bank, investment in educating women and girls has the highest rate of return of any possible type of investment in developing nations. Its results include higher productivity, slower population growth, reduced child mortality rates and increased awareness and use of environmental protection measures.

Therefore, unrecognised work undertaken by women in rural areas as agents of change in eradicating poverty must be commended.

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