Notes to broadcasters on International Day of Rural Women

    | October 10, 2011

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    We present two stories from Kenya this week to mark the International Day of Rural Women. Both feature inspirational women who have led their communities through difficult times. Mrs. Florence Nzambuli is active in her community in east Kenya, using song and dance to raise awareness about the links between tree cutting, deforestation and climate change. You can hear her in action here:

    The International Day of Rural Women draws attention to both the contribution that women make in rural areas, and the many challenges they face. The first International Day of Rural Women was observed in New York on October 15, 2008. For more information, visit:

    For facts and figures, stories from around the world, and links to further resources on gender and agriculture, see:

    The 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development is available at:

    For your reference, here are two recent news reports on gender, agriculture and development:

    -“Give women the seeds and they can feed the world”:

    -“Gender equality: Why involving men is crucial”:

    Women make up the majority of small-scale, subsistence farmers in the developing world. Gender inequality in agriculture is a problem not just for women but for the agricultural sector, for food security, and for society as a whole. The Food and Agriculture Organization stated that, if women in developing countries worldwide had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20-30 per cent and lift 100-150 million people out of hunger. Here are some quick facts on women in sub-Saharan Africa:

    -Women are responsible for 70 to 80 per cent of household food production
    -Women are responsible for obtaining 90 per cent of water, wood, and fuel
    -55 per cent of primary students not enrolled in school are girls
    -Nearly twice as many women over age 15 are illiterate compared to men
    -Women are 1.6 times more likely than men to be infected by HIV
    -77 per cent of all HIV-positive women live in sub-Saharan Africa

    (Sources: The Hunger Project, IFPRI, UNAIDS, UNFPA)

    IPS News hosts The Gender Wire, which is full of resources and stories on women in the news. You can subscribe to their newsletter here:

    Farm Radio International has produced many scripts on women, gender and agriculture. Browse the complete list here:

    Read again the stories and links in the special issue of Farm Radio Weekly for International Women’s Day, March 2011:

    Gender and the roles of women and men in professional and domestic life is always a rich topic for discussion and debate. Broadcasters could produce programs on this topic to provoke debate and raise awareness. Seek out women in your community who have interesting stories to tell – for example, women who take on non-traditional roles, or who are well known for the work they do, whether in- or outside of the home.

    Don’t forget to talk to men in their families or communities to get their perspective.