NMRW celebrates International Day of Rural Women

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Photo: The National Movement of Rural Women

The National Movement of Rural Women (NMRW) invites members of the public to celebrate International Day of Rural Women (IDoRW) on 15 October 2020.

The theme for International Day of Rural Women 2020 is “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of Covid-19,” and aims to “create awareness of these women’s struggles, their needs, and their critical and key role in our society”.

This has been established by the United Nations General Assembly as they recognise “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty”.

According to a statement by the National Movement of Rural Women, the South African government believes that rural women play a critical role in the rural economies of both developed and developing countries. In most parts of the developing world, they participate in crop production and livestock care, provide food, water and fuel for their families’ livelihoods. In addition, they carry out vital functions in caring for children, the elderly and the sick.

The theme for International Day of Rural Women 2020 is “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of Covid-19,” and aims to “create awareness of these women’s struggles, their needs, and their critical and key role in our society”.

It further adds that the National Movement of Rural Women (NMRW) is a non-profit, grassroots organisation founded in April 1990 by a network of 16 women across the then Transvaal region of South Africa. Before 1990, the network of women had been engaging through the Transvaal Action Committee (TRAC), which was formed in 1986.

Under its social arm, the NMRW was set up with the purpose of giving rural women in South Africa a voice. Many women in the 1990s were not able to inherit land or speak freely about problems they faced within their communities.

Under their economic justice arm, the NMRW supports projects financially and through capacity building by providing incubation and training workshops equipping the women with the following skills: financial management, project and business management, tender processes, identifying and appraising businesses, health and welfare. The supported projects create employment for rural women and strengthen networks among NMRW members.

Heidre Malgas

heidre@mahareng.co.za