International Day of Rural Women
Achieving gender equality and empowering women is not only the right thing to do but is a critical ingredient in the fight against extreme poverty, hunger, and malnutrition.
Giving women the same opportunities as men could raise agricultural production by 2.5 to 4 percent in the poorest regions, and the number of malnourished people could be reduced by 12 to 17 percent.
Yet they face significant discrimination when it comes to land and livestock ownership, equal pay, participation in decision-making entities, and access to resources, credit, and markets.
In addition to this background, the war in Ukraine has had a devastating impact not just on Ukrainian women but on women and girls worldwide, especially rural women.
According to the latest UN Women report, the current disruption to the food and energy markets has only intensified gender disparities, causing rates of food insecurity, malnutrition, and energy poverty.
The ensuing cost-of-living crisis has acutely threatened women’s livelihoods, health, and well-being. It has been propelled by the war’s disruptions of oil and gas supplies and staple food commodities, alongside the skyrocketing food, fuel, and fertilizer prices.
Alarming increases in gender-based violence, transactional sex for food and survival, child marriage (with girls forced to leave school), and women’s and girls’ unpaid care and domestic workloads are further endangering women’s and girls’ physical and mental health.
This International Day, under the theme “Rural women confront the global cost-of-living crisis”, let’s recognize the work of these heroines in the food systems of the world, and let’s claim rural areas with equal opportunities for all.
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