Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rural women are leading the way -- witll the world follow?

IPS: The United Nations’ 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) opened Monday in New York, with the empowerment of rural women high on a list of priorities for this year. According to a press release issued last week by UN Women, "Rural women constitute one-fourth of the world’s population. (They) account for a great proportion of the agricultural labour force, produce the majority of food grown, especially in subsistence farming, and perform most of the unpaid care work in rural areas."

Yet, "the livelihoods and well-being of rural women and girls are directly linked to the environment they live in," Lakshmi Puri, assistant-secretary-general and deputy executive director of UN Women, told IPS.

"In many countries, rural women and girls have been directly impacted by the effects of climate change. (Throughout) the Commission on the Status of Women, UN-Women will be listening to rural women from all continents about the ways they have been impacted by climate change and, together with partners, amplifying their voices so that they are heard by world leaders," Puri added.

While the U.N.'s high-level conference is just getting started, women on the ground in the global South are already in the eye of the storm and are busy deploying a combination of indigenous techniques and adaptive agricultural technologies to ward off the impacts of climate change...

Zhuang women harvesting sugar cane in Fusui, Guangxi, China. Shot by Rolfmueller, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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