16 October 2013

Honor International Day of Rural Women on Oct. 15th

A UMW Ubuntu group will journey to Zimbabwe on February 6th to learn about and address health issues among Zimbabwean women.  Hannah Mafunda, our hostess and Coordinator of  UMCOR Health Board in Zimbabwe has offered the information, below:

Let’s eradicate hunger and violence against women! International Day of Rural Women 2013
15 October 2013
HARARE - Five years on, since the first International Day of Rural Women was observed on 15 October 2008, the role of women in the development of rural communities is still of paramount importance. Women are the foundation of any nation; their role goes beyond child bearing as they contribute significantly to the livelihoods of their families and their communities. According to the Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF), women meet 90% of household water and fuel needs and process 100% of basic household foodstuff in Africa.  Even though these contributions are recognised, it is saddening that women from all community segments continue to face forms of violence in their homes and in society. 

The 2013 commemorations are under the theme: "Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls." Statistics and cases of gender-based violence (GBV), domestic violence and sexual violence continue to be publicised in the media and one wonders if and when we will we get to a stage where women are valued and viewed as equal partners in society worth more than their roles within the home. Rural women tend to fall through the cracks when it comes to recognition of their sacrifices and contributions to the livelihoods of their communities. Cases of abuse and violence towards rural women often go unreported, with many suffering in silence. Development programmes need to focus on addressing the needs of women without leaving out rural women.

The key focus of this day is to recognise the role of women in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty linked to World Food Day commemorated on the 16th of October annually. The United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) has clearly illustrated the need to empower women and girls who will become women as a way forward to address hunger. Celebrities such as Halle Berry, Christina Aguilera and Michael Kors among others have joined in the fight against hunger. Despite the focus on hunger, issues affecting women such as violence against women and girls need to continue to be viewed as key agenda items for any development work if we are to address drivers of poverty.

In line with this year’s theme, SAfAIDS is implementing the Men as Protectors Campaign in the region. This campaign puts men at the forefront of confronting any forms of violence against women, including intimate partner violence. SAfAIDS believes that the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls can be achieved through having men championing the eradication of the violence. So today, SAfAIDS joins the world in commemorating International Day of Rural Women and encourages everyone to reflect on the strength and progress that rural women in particular have in eradicating world hunger. Let us ALL support them.

Creating a future for all women particularly rural women creates a future for our nations!
SAfAIDS Media Desk
Email: reg@safaids.net

Online at: http://safaids.net/content/let%E2%80%99s-eradicate-hunger-and-violence-against-women-international-day-rural-women-2013
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