15 October is the annual International Day of Rural Women. It recognizes the importance of women in enhancing agricultural and rural development, including improving food security and eradicating rural poverty. Empowerment of rural women is at the heart of fulfilling the vision of the 17 sustainable development goals because:
1. in most countries, rural women and girls face daily challenges of access to sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection;
2. rural women represent a high % of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, working on activities that are time and labour intensive, informal and poorly paid;
3. women and girls are responsible for water collection in 80% of households without access to safe drinking water;
4. rural women’s civil society organizations, enterprises and groups are critical in mobilizing rural women; and
5. the impacts of climate change, including access to productive and natural resources, amplify existing gender inequalities in rural areas.
The 2018 theme for International Day of Rural Women - Sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection for gender equality, and the empowerment of rural women and girls - coincided with ongoing attempts by CNVP to support rural women. As an example, on 15 October 2018, CNVP Albania collaborated with World Vision in Librazhd Municipality to train women’s producer groups from Elbasan, Perrenjas and Librazhd in how to improve their capacities for marketing, product development and business planning.
The activity was organised through the Sida-funded project Forests for Local Economic Development. Being implemented by CNVP Albania, the project’s activities include: improving women’s economic empowerment; reducing the gender wage gap; and promoting women’s rights in the workplace.