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Rural women across Europe and Central Asia empower their communities despite challenges

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Women are central to the development of rural areas and to national economies. They account for a significant proportion of agricultural labour, play a key role in food production, especially in subsistence farming, and perform most of the unpaid care work in rural areas. More

Across the Western Balkans, rural women are influencing local budgets and shaping progress

Friday, October 13, 2017

Across Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Moldova, UN Women works with governments to implement gender equality commitments and enhance women’s participation in decision-making. Funded by the Austrian Development Agency and Swiss Development Cooperation, the programme enables women to influence local budgets to address their diverse needs. More

Colombian women growing coffee, brewing peace

Friday, October 13, 2017

Colombia’s half-a-century-long armed conflict has deeply wounded the country’s rural areas. Today, rural and indigenous women suffer the highest levels of poverty, social exclusion and discrimination. According to national statistics, 41.9 per cent of rural women-led households live in poverty and 9.6 per cent in extreme poverty. An initiative by UN Women has supported rural and indigenous women to develop leadership and business skills to boost their economic and political empowerment as the country strives for peace. More

Rural women: the invisible mainstay of sustainability

Friday, October 13, 2017

Women and girls are central to the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and overall wellbeing, but their role and significance is often overlooked - Statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, on the International Day of Rural Women, 15 October, 2017 More

In the words of Sunita Kashyap: “We believe in trade, not aid”

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sunita Kashyap, is the secretary and founder of Mahila Umang Producers Company (Umang), an organization run by rural women in the districts of Almora and Ranikhet, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Locally owned by women farmers and producers, Umang sells knitwear and organic jams and jellies. More

Empowering women in the farthest corners of Armenia

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Catherine Wolf is a Programme Analyst with UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, overseeing the projects in Africa and Europe and Central Asia. She is based in Turkey, and recently visited a project in Armenia, implemented by Green Lane, a non-governmental organization that works in partnership with UN Women to empower rural women. More

A new life for women in Colombia’s artisanal fishing industry

Monday, October 2, 2017

In South-West Colombia, where the civil war has left lasting impact, the Nueva Vida (New Life) project, supported by UN Women and funded by the Embassy of Norway in Colombia, aims to boost women’s income and participation in the fishing sector. More

Local women’s networks drive gender equality in rural Serbia

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

In rural Serbia, where the political and economic landscape is primarily dominated by men and few women participate in decision-making, local Women Councilors Networks set up with support from UN Women are challenging the status quo. More

Women entrepreneurs in Ethiopia lead the way from poverty to empowerment

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A programme on Rural Women’s Economic Empowerment has benefited more than 2,000 rural women to date through trainings on basic business skills and financial management. It has also given them access to small loans at lower than average interest rates. More

From where I stand: “If I am on the receiving end of violence, should I not be included in the discussions to end it?”

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hajiya Amina Ahmed is a peacebuilder from Nigeria who works across religious and ethnic lines to empower women and build peaceful communities. During a recent visit to a rural community, she, along with other women peacebuilders, convinced the community leader to appoint women in the traditional councils. More

Women in rural Cambodia cultivate their way out of vulnerability

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

In five rural districts of Battambang and Siem Reap provinces in Cambodia, Banteay Srei, a local women-led NGO works with the poorest, most marginalized women—including those who are illiterate or single mothers—to help them improve their livelihoods. More

In Benin, small savings and loans groups drive rural women’s empowerment

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Across rural Africa, women farmers are benefiting from Savings and Loans Groups to grow their businesses. Some 40 per cent of the UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality grantees in Africa are now using this methodology, leading to better nutrition, business development and sustainable land management outcomes. The Miguéze’ programme, for example, has impacted 2,780 people, and women are emerging as leaders and role models. More

From where I stand: “We thought gender was only for educated people”

Monday, June 26, 2017

Modesta Mujawariya is a co-founder of a small farmer’s cooperative in Rwanda. Although she had twelve plots of land, she didn’t know the exact size of her land and how to estimate yields. The Buy from Women platform connected her to markets and information through mobile technology. One of her biggest surprises was learning about how gender equality matters in agriculture. More

From housewives to local councils, rural women in Kyrgyzstan shift gears

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

In villages across Kyrgyzstan, rural women are taking charge of their lives and livelihoods after completing leadership and skills training programmes. Most of the participants are now running small-scale businesses and some have joined local councils to shape laws and policies. More

Expert’s take: Making unpaid work visible creates livelihoods for rural women

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Subhalakshmi Nandi leads the women's economic empowerment portfolio at UN Women’s Multi Country Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. She is a feminist development professional, with 15 years’ experience in the UN and with civil society organizations, and has worked on diverse issues of gender equality and women’s rights. Her work involves research, policy advocacy and programme management, with a focus on empowering the most marginalised rural communities of South Asia. More

From where I stand: “When I’m stung, I am reminded of how strong I already am”

Friday, February 24, 2017

Oralia Ruano Lima was among the first women in her indigenous community to join an all-female entrepreneurship project as a beekeeper. Today the women beekeepers of Urlanta, a village in the south-eastern region of Guatemala, are bringing in sustainable jobs and income to their rural communities, and changing mindsets and attitudes towards women. More

“Changes are on the way for women farmers”—Executive Director

Friday, October 14, 2016

"Changes are on the way for women farmers. Some of those changes are those brought by giant global forces, like climate change, environmental degradation, or migration patterns that can either leave them alone heading their households, or alone in search of work. But other changes are coming about through a better recognition of women farmers as a force in themselves.."—Statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, on International Day of Rural Women. More

Empowering women farmers of Rwanda through mobile technology

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Farmers in Rwanda now know the exact size of their land, can better forecast production and access markets through digital, mobile-enabled platform supported by UN Women and World Food Programme. What’s more, the programme is bridging gender equality gaps in agriculture and ensuring women’s equal participation in the value chain. More

Stepping out of the Boma: Maasai women of Tanzania take charge of their own lives and livelihood

Thursday, October 13, 2016

In Tanzania, UN Women and partner workshops have empowered hundreds of Maasai women to acquire land, find additional employment and diversify their economic activities to supplement their families’ income. More

From where I stand: Florah Maswanganyi

Monday, August 29, 2016

Florah Maswanganyi, 54, is a farmer from Giyani Village in Limpopo province, South Africa. She took part in a workshop on the effects of climate change on rural women and women smallholder farmers, which aimed to strengthen rural women’s voices in advocating for gender-sensitive climate change agreements. More

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