Ministry and UN Women Present Gender Equality in Rural Development and Tourism Project
Albanian Daily News
Published March 8, 2018
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with the support of UN Women, on the occasion of the International Women's Day, organized the roundtable "Challenges and Opportunities to Achieve Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Rural Girls".
This year, the theme of International Women's Day, March 8, is "The Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women's Lives". 54 percent of women's active workforce work in agriculture. However, although they are more involved than men in farm activities, they benefit five times less from agricultural support services. Rural women lack financial support and business development information, and possess few property rights.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Niko Peleshi stressed that Time is Now for concrete actions to empower women in rural areas. "We need to create the first models that bring sustainable economic development. Through the Government's 100 villages project and the joint initiative we have with UN Women and FAO, rural women will be the main beneficiaries and able to achieve a healthier domestic economy."
Bearing in mind these challenges and inequalities, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, UN Women and FAO have developed a special initiativefor "Gender Equality in Rural Development and Tourism", named GREAT (Gender Rural Equality and Tourism).This initiative aims to contribute to the empowerment of women in rural areas and to strengthen their role in rural development as one of the targets of the 2030 Agenda.
"This event brings us together to discuss two important areas- agriculture development and women's empowerment-both areas with challenges and tremendous opportunities at the same time. The UN supports motors of women's empowerment. Women are powerful agents of change - and empowering women benefits the whole society", highlighted UN Resident Coordinator in Albania, Brian Williams.
Improving the life of rural women is one of the key recommendations of the National Strategy for Gender Equality 2016-2020.
The great initiative is the gender-focused response to the project of 100 villages and emphasizes the following: the creation of a favorable business environment for women through the creation of incubators and the provision of local government services; the creation of a product chain linking women farmers to the market and consumers, as well as support for the creation of local development groups (LAGs),in accordance with EU criteria.
"Women living in rural areas are one of the most vulnerable groups in Albania. Through the GREAT initiative we intend to strengthen them by providing services through municipalities, or help them get organized into active groups", said UN Women Representative in Albania,Giuseppe Belsito.
This initiative aims to benefit women in rural areas who owntourism-related businesses or want to develop one, local municipalities and civil society.
Due to inequalities and gender discrimination, rural women enjoy a lower status compared to men in rural areas, or women in urban areas. For example, women represent about 8 percent of landowners in Albania. Women in rural areas do not have access to infrastructure and services, decent work and social protection, and are more vulnerable to the consequences of climate change.