Photo courtesy of Care International Egypt
CAIRO, Oct 13 (MENA) - The world will mark on Tuesday the International Day of Rural Women 2019 which will be held under the rubric "Rural Women and Girls Building Climate Resilience".
The event will highlight the important role that rural women and girls play in building resilience to face the climate crisis. This will be a timely conversation that leverages the momentum garnered by the UN Climate Action Summit held in September 23rd in New York.
It will focus on the crucial role that women and girls play in ensuring the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and overall wellbeing.
Women and girls in rural areas suffer disproportionately from multi-dimensional poverty. While extreme poverty has declined globally, the world’s 1 billion people who continue to live in unacceptable conditions of poverty are heavily concentrated in rural areas. Poverty rates in rural areas across most regions are higher than those in urban areas. Yet smallholder agriculture produces nearly 80 per cent of food in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and supports the livelihoods of some 2.5 billion people. Women farmers may be as productive and enterprising as their male counterparts, but are less able to access land, credit, agricultural inputs, markets and high-value agrifood chains and obtain lower prices for their crops.
Globally, one in three employed women works in agriculture. Women collect biomass fuels, manually process foodstuffs, and pump water — 80% of households without piped water rely on women and girls for water collection. Rural women are at the forefront of the battle lines when natural resources and agriculture are threatened. For example, a quarter of the total damage and loss resulting from climate-related disasters from 2006 to 2016 was suffered by the agricultural sector in developing countries, significantly impacting rural women and girls' food security and productive potential.