Rural women are critical to the success of the SDGs


Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

Thoeun harvests corn from her farm in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. Photo: Chhor Sokunthea/World Bank

Rural women’s empowerment critical to UN Sustainable Development Agenda – Ban

Marking the International Day of Rural Women, United NationsSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that rural women are critical to the success of almost all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as they all “have gender equality and women’s empowerment at their core.”

Rurual Women make up 25 per cent of the world’s population and in developing countries they make up 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force that produces much of the world’s food.

It is no wonder, then, that the Secretary-General calls rural women the backbone of rural communities, where, “and in many households they have the key responsibility for food security, education opportunities and healthcare.”

And yet that backbone is under threat, as increasingly, the effects of climate change and environmental degradation are forcing rural women to migrate in search of land where they can produce food and improve their families’ lives. This leads to instability, isolation, and marginalization. Frequently, male family members leave to seek work elsewhere.

Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said in a statement on the Daythat “rural women farmers can be agents of change in transforming food production and consumption so that land and resources are used efficiently and sustainably. They need policies and investments that facilitate their active participation and decision-making and their access to land and climate-resilient agricultural methods.”

Changes are on the way for women farmers

UN Women and the World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a the new programme in Rwanda to help women farmers forecast crop demands and create more secure and profitable supply chains through the use of digital technology.

Read the full article: UN NEWS CENTRE

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.