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Rural Women Strive for Greater Place in Georgia’s Development

The village of Duisi hosted a celebration of International Rural Women’s Day on October 17, 2017, with a community event attended by representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Education and Science, local authorities, Pankisi Gorge residents, Government of Sweden and United Nations.

The event was organised by the Kakheti Regional Development Foundation (KRDF) with assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Government of Sweden, under the joint UN Programme for Gender Equality.

The main theme of the day were the challenges faced by rural women in Georgia as they strive for professional career and economic independence.

While talking to women farmers, Revaz Asatiani, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, focused on the role of women in national development.

“Making development inclusive and equal for all is a key priority of economic and social programmes of the Georgian Government. Rural women are a tremendous human resource in the country progress to sustainable future and we need to think how to reflect their needs in state policies and programmes. I strongly believe that economically and socially active women can bring a lot of positive change not only into their communities and families, but into the whole society,’ Deputy Minister said.

The day continued with the discussions about specific problems faced by women in the Pankisi Gorge. Women farmers and civil society activists brought a range of issues to the attention of the local and national authorities, including for the vocational and life-long education opportunities in the region and the assistance to women to become more active in economic activities and local self-governance.

“Women, who live in rural areas in Georgia, account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labour force, including informal work, and perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within their families and households. This work usually goes unnoticed. We have come to Duisi today to mark International Day of Rural Women, and talk to the local community exploring the challenges and opportunities to women’s increased participation in economic life and decision-making processes,” said Maka Meshveliani, UNDP Project Manager.

At the end of day, local women farmers organised a fair of traditional local crafts, arts and foods.

The International Day of Rural Women is the annual celebration on October 15 each year to recognize rural women’s importance in enhancing agricultural and rural development worldwide. The International Day for Rural Women is followed by World Food Day (October 16) and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17)—highlighting issues that are inextricably linked with the empowerment of rural women.