The President of Partnership for Rural Women Development in Nigeria, Hajiya Zainab Mohammed, has called on relevant stakeholders to support the participation of rural women in promotion of agriculture value chains.
Mohammed made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to commemorate the International Day of Rural Women on Monday in Abuja.
The theme for this year’s celebration is, ‘Sustainable Infrastructure, Services and Social Protection for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls’.
“Rural women make up over a quarter of the world population and majority of the 43 per cent of women in agricultural labour force in developing countries.
“Yet, they are disproportionately affected by poverty, exclusion and the effects of environmental and climate change.
“Virtually every gender and development indicator for which data are available reveals that globally, rural women fare worse than rural men and urban women,” she said.
Mohammed said lack of access to affordable and clean energy at the household level has particular implications for rural women and girls.
She said the absence of adequate sanitation facilities exposes women and girls to illness, risks to their safety and violence, hampering their ability to go to school, earn an income and move around freely.
She said rural women’s civil society organisations, enterprises and cooperatives were critical in gathering and uniting rural women and enabling them to influence the decisions and institutions that affect their lives.
“Around the world, rural women have organised to advocate for the infrastructure, services, and social protection necessary for their wellbeing, livelihoods, and resilience.
“Rural women have mobilized to secure water for irrigation and household use, and renewable energy for lighting their homes and powering small businesses.
“Rural women’s cooperatives are providing childcare services for and by their members,” Mohammed said.
NAN reports that UN International Day of Rural Women celebrates and honours the role of Rural Women Oct.15 each year.
It recognises rural women’s importance in enhancing agricultural and rural development. (NAN)