San José, 4 July 2019 (IICA). The objectives of the online discussion forum, Warriors-the brainchild of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)-are to provide a platform to raise awareness; to demonstrate the pivotal role of rural women in global food production, as well as to assist in empowering them and improving their socioeconomic conditions.
The forum will facilitate the sharing of issues and data related to this group, as a means of reflecting on the situations that rural women in the Americas encounter, on a daily basis, which are hindering their personal development and that of their countries.
The initiative is available at the ruralwomen.iica.int website, where users can also access the book, Warriors, a compilation of opinions and articles on rural women that analyze data and statistics related to this population group. The texts, which were compiled by IICA, seek to illustrate the urgency of creating greater opportunities for women in the countryside.
Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, emphasized that, “The forum presents information to create awareness about the inequalities endured by women in the different spheres in which they are involved, thereby promoting actions that guarantee equal and equitable conditions. We are indebted to these women for their role in the production and trade of food, as well as care for the environment”.
There are 59 million women residing in rural areas in Latin America and the Caribbean, and almost 40% of them earn no income of their own. Less than one third of rural women own the land on which they live.
A study by IICA, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) indicates that in Latin America and the Caribbean, three-quarters of female-headed households are classified as inactive or in autonomous agriculture, despite the fact that in recent years the rate of female labor force participation and female headship increased in the region.
In conclusion, Otero stressed that, “The launch of this forum is in keeping with IICA’s efforts to develop more conceptual and methodological tools, as well as forums for discussion on the issue of gender and rural women. We are wholeheartedly committed to the cause of these women.