The invaluable contribution of rural women to development
The crucial role that women and girls play in ensuring the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and overall wellbeing, has been increasingly recognized. Women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labor force, including informal work, and perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within families and households in rural areas. They make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience. Do not forget also their input and contribution for all homemade and handmade works keeping an ancient tradition alive in all rural villages.
But, the absence of gender equality has been widely reported in Armenia not only at home, but also in the workplace where women’s prospects of employment and earning are far lower compared to men. Gender inequality is most evident in rural areas, where the prospect of employment is even lower, and women are even more vulnerable due to a lack of access to services that encourage gender equality and provide additional resources to support women at-risk of domestic violence or other forms of abuse.
Women in Armenia are more likely to live in poverty than men.
There are no laws and few policies aimed at integrating rural women into development initiatives, and they are under-represented in decision and policy-making processes. Women smallholders face many barriers in agricultural production and in marketing chains. They lack access to the agricultural services, credit and INGOs & government support that they need, and have few economic opportunities beyond agriculture.
Rural women’s civil society organizations, enterprises and cooperatives are critical in mobilizing rural women, supporting their voice, agency and representation in political and economic spheres, and enabling them to influence the decisions and institutions that affect their lives.
On the International Day of Rural Women, UN Women calls upon the international community to work with rural women and girls everywhere and to invest in the sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection that can revolutionize their livelihoods, well-being and resilience.
The aim of the international day is to increase the role of rural women in the decision making processes at both local and national levels; we highly appreciate and respect all the effort that they made for the development of the rural villages in Armenia as well as in Artsakh – Karabakh.
“The empowerment of rural women and girls is essential to building a prosperous, equitable and peaceful future for all on a healthy planet.” – UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.
This year’s theme, “Sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”, places empowerment of rural women at the heart of fulfilling the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).