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Statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women for the International Day of Rural Women

Monday, October 14, 2019

The lives and livelihoods of rural women and girls, including indigenous women and girls, are deeply affected by industrial agriculture, extractive industries, and dependency on fossil fuels. The dire consequences of these have been unequivocally demonstrated in the past decades, affecting economies, societies, cultures, and the global environment and climate.

From where I stand: “We must start by uniting the people because together we’re stronger”

Friday, October 11, 2019

Natalia Slavinskaia, 42, is a community mobilizer from Komysh-Zorya, a small village in the conflict-affected Zaporizhzhia region, south-east Ukraine.

Climate-friendly biogas becomes ‘fashionable’ in rural Tanzania

Friday, October 11, 2019

In Ngorongoro, a remote district in Arusha, rural communities are bearing the brunt of a changing climate that is ravaging many parts of East Africa. The Energize project is working to build new skills for out-of-school pastoralist adolescent girls and young women on biogas and solar energy products, as well as on how to run sustainable businesses.

From where I stand: “Now I have bigger dreams”

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Sufia Khatun from Pirganj, Rongpur, found herself without any source of income after her husband passed away. Through a joint UN programme, she was able to learn tailoring and get access to finance to invest in her own business. Today she employs 20 women in her community.

International Day of Rural Women theme: “Rural women and girls building climate resilience”

Friday, September 27, 2019

This year’s theme for the International Day of Rural Women (15 October), “Rural women and girls building climate resilience” serves as a reminder that the world’s sustainable future is not possible without rural women and girls.

From Tanzania to Algeria, rural women are taking charge of their lives and livelihoods

Thursday, September 12, 2019

A recently organized learning visit brought two rural women’s collectives together to share strategies, insights and experiences. In the world of international development, such exchanges are termed “South–South cooperation”—exchange of ideas, experiences, and opportunities between entrepreneurs, communities, and experts from the Global South. “It enabled both organizations to monitor and analyse the impact of their projects on the quality of lives of women in Tanzania and Algeria, consulting each other on alternatives and progress in their livelihoods systems and value chains.”

In the Bolivian Amazon, women are protecting the forest and empowering themselves

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

While parts of the Amazon are in flames across Brazil and eastern Bolivia—from fires largely caused by burning to clear arable land—communities in northern Bolivia are protecting their forests through a series of economic empowerment projects.

Boosting harvests for women in the hills of Nepal

Friday, September 6, 2019

UN Women’s Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment (AWEE) Programme works in Kavrepalanchokand five other districts of Nepal to support over 2,000 marginalized women including those affected by conflict, survivors of human trafficking, migrants who have returned home, home-based workers and women living with HIV and AIDS.

From where I stand: “I think of my grandfather when I make Jikos”

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Refika Cornoleus, escaped the war in Sudan with her her six children, but had to leave behind her home, her husband and her grandparents. She lives in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, where she makes eco-friendly stoves, which are high in demand.

UN Women statement on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Friday, August 2, 2019

UN Women joins all indigenous peoples everywhere, especially indigenous women and girls, in commemorating the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year’s theme of “Indigenous Languages” challenges us to ensure that indigenous women and girls have a voice—quite literally—in the diverse political, civil, social, economic and cultural spaces that they occupy.

Ask an activist: Why are women lacking land rights in Tanzania and what can be done about it?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Elizabeth Maro Minde is the Managing Director of Kilimanjaro Women Information Exchange Community Organization in Tanzania, a grantee of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality. Minde and her organization provides legal counselling and representation to marginalized women in rural communities. She spoke to UN Women during the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women about the issue of land rights.

The simple scheme that’s driving a quiet revolution for Brazil’s family farmers

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Detailed logging of produce, and addressing gender bias in censuses, is helping to raise the profile of the women vital to production on the country’s farms.

Take Five: “The economic participation of rural women is essential for growth and a more equitable distribution of wealth”

Friday, April 26, 2019

Maher Khalifi, a young Tunisian engineer, has developed a project that improves the coverage of Tunisia’s social protection system for rural women. The Tunisian Government has agreed to use a new application dubbed "Ahmini", which should allow 500,000 rural women to be integrated into social assistance system, allowing them access to benefits such as pensions. He is attending the Tunis Forum on Gender Equality (24 – 26 April), co-hosted by the Governments of Sweden and Tunisia in collaboration with UNDP and UN Women. The Forum is the first of many global meetings leading up to the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action.

From where I stand: “Local and global political and economic systems create and maintain social inequality”

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Durga Sob is a Nepalese activist who founded the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) in 1994, just ahead of the adoption of the visionary Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. She is among the 500 activists meeting in Tunisia from 24-26 April for the Tunis Forum on Gender Equality to take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration, nearly 25 years on.

From where I stand: “Just the act of wearing our traditional clothes is an expression of resistance”

Monday, April 22, 2019

Sonia Maribel Sontay Herrera is an indigenous woman and human rights defender from Guatemala. Her vision is for Guatemala to respect the rights of indigenous women and hear their voices.

In rural Georgia women are asking for kindergartens, here’s why

Thursday, March 7, 2019

In remote villages across Georgia, better roads and kindergartens are high on women’s agenda, and understandably so. How long it takes them to commute due to the lack of road infrastructure or essential public services such as kindergartens, and how far a mother has to go to get affordable childcare, determines how much time she has left in a day to get paid work.

The journey along the gender road in Cameroon

Thursday, March 7, 2019

A 200-kilometre road (124 miles) project stretches between the townships of Batschenga, Ntui and Yoko, in central Cameroon. The road crosses farms, forests, water bodies and pastoral areas that sustain the mostly agrarian economy of nearly 40 villages and three towns. The road, a basic infrastructure that many countries take for granted, literally shapes the lives and livelihood of the people living along it. It decides whether a small entrepreneur will get her products transported on time,...

Women in rural Kyrgyzstan bring change through water, technology and better infrastructure

Monday, March 4, 2019

Shakhodat Teshebayeva from Khalmion, a village in southern Kyrgyzstan bordering Uzbekistan, is 50 years old and the sole breadwinner of her family. Her income comes from farming, working for 8-10 long hours in the fields every day. She doesn’t shy away from the hard work, but lately, the hard has become impossible, because of the growing water crisis.

From where I stand: “I want to get involved in decision making in my community”

Friday, February 1, 2019

Sella Esther Sowa, 42, grows and sells vegetables to support her four children, her nephews and her parents in Kenema in the Eastern Province, Sierra Leone. When a dispute over land rights erupted within Sowa’s family, she decided to take a stand.

From where I stand: “I’m the first woman in my family to own property”

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Awaho Talla is the first woman in her family to own land. Next, she plans on building a house that she can rent to supplement her income. In her tribe, socio-economic status is often determined by the number of cattle they own and women rarely own property or have decision-making powers in the family. But times are changing.

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