Rural Women

Four Fast Facts to Debunk Myths About Rural Women

We are lucky to live in a country that has long since abandoned the image of the damsel in distress. Even Disney princesses now save themselves and send unsuitable “saviours” packing. But despite the great strides being made in gender equality, we are still failing rural women, particularly women farmers.

Women on the Edge of Land and Life

November is the cruelest month for landless families in the Indian Sundarbans, the largest single block of tidal mangrove forest in the world lying primarily in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.

Guardians of Life and of the Earth

Around the world, but especially in the planet’s poorest regions, women represent a life force that renews itself daily, sometimes against all odds.

Rural Water Projects Depend on Women

During the dry season, when dirt roads are cracked from the relentless heat, the sight of women walking miles, balancing pots of water on their heads, is common in rural Sri Lanka.

Saquina Mucavele, executive director of MuGeDe - Mulher, Genero e Desenvolvimento (Women, Gender and Development), a non-profit based in Mozambique. Credit: Sabina Zaccaro/IPS

Cooperatives Help Women Farmers Tighten Ranks

It is a tried and tested truth that when women come together in groups they can address their issues more powerfully than they can as individuals.

Climate Change Drives Exodus to Jakarta

Another month of plying his ‘becak’ (trishaw) in the capital city and Sarjo will be coming back to this West Java district to harvest the rice ripening on his 1,400 sq m paddy.

Female subsistence farmers, who form more than 70 percent of farmers on the continent, remain clueless about climate change issues.  Credit: Busani Bafana

Nothing to Show for Hard Work but Burnt Fields of Maize

Gertrude Mkoloi earns a living harvesting maize on a small piece of land in rural Zimbabwe. Or at least she used to.

Ruth Muriuki in the greenhouse she built with the help of a microloan. Credit:Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

KENYA: Microloans, Greenhouses Help Women Cope with Climate Change

At Gakoromone Market in Meru, in Kenya’s Eastern Province, Ruth Muriuki arrives in a pickup full of tomatoes and cabbages despite the scarcity of rainfall in the area, thanks to the greenhouse technology she uses on her farm – and microcredit.

Women washing clothes in a village in northern Peru. Credit: Elena Villanueva /IPS

PERU: Time to Adapt to Climate Change Impact on Women’s Lives

This year’s unusually rainy season in Peru is having a negative effect on the wellbeing and health of women in rural areas who are forced, for example, to spend three times as much time walking to collect firewood and water. But the authorities continue to turn a blind eye to the problems they face.

The Barotse Flood Plain, about 190 kilometres long and 70 km wide, floods during the peak rainy season that starts in late January. Credit:Lewis Mwanangombe/IPS

ZAMBIA: No Longer “Waiting for the Mangoes to Ripen”

Eight years ago when Mary Sitali’s husband divorced her, by sending a traditional letter to her parents saying that he no longer wanted her and they could "marry her to any man of your choice - be he a tall or a short man, the choice being entirely yours," she returned to her village in rural Zambia with their two children and no way of supporting them.

Lilly Be

Q&A: Where Abusing Women Is “An Accepted Norm”

Violence, torture and other forms of cruel treatment are on the rise for women in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Rural Women Are Leading the Way – Will the World Follow? – Part 1

Agriculture currently provides a livelihood for roughly 1.3 billion smallholder farmers and landless workers, of which nearly half – close to 560 million – are women.

Aura Canache, in front of one of her sheep enclosures on her small farm. Credit: Estrella Gutiérrez/IPS

Rural Women in Latin America Face Myriad Hurdles

"Sometimes I think of giving it all up,” Aura Canache, a small farmer in Venezuela, told IPS. “My neighbours get loans and aid, but I never have. The farm assistance plans are for men, although there are many women living off the countryside too.”

Women, Victims of War, Have No Seat at Negotiating Table

When the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held its inaugural meeting in London back in 1946, the U.S. delegate, Eleanor Roosevelt, read an open letter to "the women of the world" calling on governments to encourage women everywhere to participate in national and international affairs.

Stephanie Seguino. Credit: Courtesy of Stephanie Seguino

Q&A: How to Reverse the “Feminisation of Poverty”

The phrase "financing for gender equality" may sound dry, but it lies at the heart of some of the most intractable problems faced by women around the world today – and whether the political will exists to allocate real resources to solving them or simply pay lip service.

Rural woman in Argentina engaging in one of her invisible daily tasks. Credit: Courtesy of Estudios y Proyectos

ARGENTINA: Invisible Rural Women

"I had never worked before, and now I produce kilos and kilos of dried fruit to sell. They taught me how to dry peaches, tomatoes, peppers and grapes, and I decided on my own to try it with melons and pears - and they were spectacular," Susana Robledo, a proud new entrepreneur from rural Argentina, told IPS.