Un Women launch joint initiative to accelerate economic empowerment of Rural Women
Discriminatory social institutions formal and informal laws added to norms and practices that limit their social and economic opportunities, women are all fired up and they just can’t take it no more. (Photo: President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf)
Barely three days after co-hosting UN General Assembly high level event on the rule of law focusing on women’s access to justice for gender equality and to stop violence against women, UN Women collaborating with three Rome-based United Nations agencies working on food and agriculture will today September 27, 2012 launch a joint program to empower poor rural women through economic integration and food security initiatives.
UN Women officials say they have teamed up with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Program (WFP) to “spearhead a comprehensive UN –system response in support of rural women’s economic empowerment through joint actions.
Mr. Hadrien Bonnaud – Communications and Media Manager in the UN Women’s New York office enunciated in a request seeking comments that today’s event themed “Accelerating Progress toward the Economic Empowerment of Women, is a 5-year joint pilot program that will be implemented in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda.”
A media advisory issued by Mr. Bonnaud outlines three main reasons why women must be empowered including:
- Rural women are key contributors to global economies, playing a critical role in both developed and developing nations. They enhance agricultural and rural development, improve food security and can help reduce poverty levels in their communities.
- In some parts of the world, women represent 70 per cent of the agricultural workforce, comprising 43 per cent of agricultural workers worldwide.
- Gender inequality and limited access to credit, healthcare and education, however, continue to pose a number of challenges for rural women.
President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Director General for International Cooperation of the Netherlands, Rob Swartbol, President of CIDA Margaret Biggs, United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer, and President of the Pan-African Farmers’ Organization Elizabeth Atangana, amongst others will attend. UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet will introduce the joint program. Panelists will include high-level government representatives, rural women’s organizations and the private sector.
By Dennis Kabatto
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