Last week, women from Chimbudzi and Masasa in Buhera commemorated International Day of the Rural Women – set aside to recognise the role of rural women in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating poverty.
A training workshop at Masasa business centre, organised by Self Help Development Foundation in partnership with Gender Links, demonstrated the importance of giving rural women access to information.
SHDF Field trainer, Tsitsi Charambira, who facilitated the workshop, said rural women deserved recognition and support for their contribution to the development of their communities.
“Rural women continue to suffer from discrimination and are prevented from enjoying the rights of full citizenship. They lack access to education, adequate health care, proper employment, land ownership and access to micro credit,” she said.
One of the participants, Patricia Mutero, said information was vital.
“We are taken advantage of because we are not aware of our rights. Such opportunities where we are taught about the basic human rights is critical if we are to claim our space in society,” she said.
SHDF Director Wadzanai Vere called on organisations to support rural women through capacity building. “Rural women are resilient and they have shown that they can sustain their families’ livelihoods in economic difficulties.
Even in drought prone areas like Buhera, they are able to put a meal on the table for their families, a smile on their faces and forge forward,” she said.Vere called on organisations to support each other and assist in raising awareness on gender equity. A report by Associate Country Women of the World, an international organisation of rural women and homemakers representing over 9 million members in over 70 countries, said progress was being made but it was very slow.
“The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women is the only human rights instrument that specifically addresses the situation for rural women,” said the report.Post published in: News