Soroptimist International Addresses CSW 56

01/03/12

Soroptimist International Assistant Programme Director, Anusha Santhirasthipam, was selected to address CSW member states and civil society representatives during a panel on the role of gender-responsive governance and institutions for the empowerment of rural women.

Soroptimist International called Government attention to the following three areas:

1.     Information

Women farmers often struggle to access the information and knowledge they need to develop their farming practices. Information relating to financing and microcredit, land rights and legal protection, training and skills development, and seed procurement does not reach many rural women. Governments do not target the female agriculturalist and programmes overlook them.

Soroptimist International stated that this lack of information is "frustrating the ability of women to get out of the poverty trap".

Soroptimist International called upon Governments to support and develop the role of women cooperatives, and to develop international linkages to facilitate information exchange and learning. Such networks, as illustrated by the community work of Soroptimist International in 124 countries around the world, can overcome communication challenges and information blockages.

2.     Land Rights

Soroptimist International called upon Governments to consolidate the land rights of women and to protect these rights in practice. A concerted effort is required to protect the land of all small scale farmers - particularly women, who often receive less legal protection than men.

3.     Fair Trade

Soroptimist International urged Governments to look at trading practices which prevent farmers from receiving a fair price for their produce. Attention was drawn to the power of trading blocks, the damaging practice of commodity speculation and the need to protect the value of primary products.

Soroptimist International called upon Governments to recognise the role of women as primary producers and purchasers of food and to support them accordingly.

To view the Soroptimist International intervention, click here and view at 1 hour 21 minutes.

For more information on CSW 56, click here.

To follow Soroptimist International at CSW 56, visit our facebook page or follow us on twitter at @SoroptiTweet and #SICSW56 

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