International Day of Rural Women marked amid calls for proactive action

Kenya joined the rest of the world in commemorating the 2020 International Day of Rural Women Thursday amid calls on the government to adequately equip rural women to mitigate the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the theme, building rural women’s resilience in the wake of Covid-19, this year’s celebration seeks to appreciate the vital role that rural women play in the development agenda as well as create awareness on their struggles and their needs.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected virtually all sectors of the society with women, especially those living in unplanned settlements, rural areas, and hard-to-reach parts of the world, bearing the brunt.

National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) chairperson Dr. Joyce M. Mutinda says all stakeholders must work together to address the multiple challenges faced by rural women during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. “We therefore, request the Government to continue equipping rural women with adequate tools, information and incentives to prepare for and mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID19 pandemic.” Mutinda says.

Mutinda saying that the Commission will continue to play its role in ensuring that the principles of equality and inclusion are embraced in all policy, legal and programmatic interventions as well as coordinate State and Non-State Actors in providing public education to rural women.

NGEC chairperson Dr. Joyce M. Mutinda says the National COVID-19 Economic Recovery Strategy should be gender-responsive, specific and sensitive to needs and contributions of women and girls.

This even as she called on the Government to consider disproportionately expanding the social protection programme to rural households to cover a higher number of female-headed households, households with children or family members with severe disabilities and rural women suffering from acute hunger and food insecurities.

Ans as the globe marks the day, UN Women is calling for action to support rural women and girls and grow their capacities to respond to climate change through agricultural production, food security, and natural resources management.

The United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, says rural women and girls are leaders in agriculture, food security and nutrition, land, managing natural resource management and unpaid and domestic care work and are at the frontline when natural resources and agriculture are threatened.

During the celebrations, all UN Member States are expected to create awareness on the struggles faced by rural women, their needs and the key roles they play in the development agenda.




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