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Brazil gives visibility to rural women contributing to food production

Brazil gives visibility to rural women contributing to food production

20 October 2020

A campaign to give visibility to rural women - women of all regions, colors and ethnicities, who live and work in a context of social and economic difficulties in Latin America and the Caribbean - was launched at Brazil's Planalto Palace. It is part of the Rural Women Campaign, Women with Rights, which is in its fifth year.

The launch ceremony was attended by President Jair Bolsonaro, First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro and the Ministers of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Tereza Cristina and Women, Family and Human Rights, Damares Alves. Also participating in the event was the representative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Brazil, Rafael Zavala. The campaign is promoted by FAO, in partnership with the Brazilian government, government and private entities and civil society organizations.

For the minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply, Tereza Cristina, the campaign arrives at a good time, and this year she wants to highlight women as guardians promoting development, following the principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“This campaign gives visibility to all those women who are invisible, but who are there, every day, working. Valuing your contribution to sustainable development is fundamental, ” said the minister.

According to FAO, in Latin America and the Caribbean, 58 million women live in the countryside and contribute to the production and supply of food. Of this total, 20 million suffer from severe food insecurity. A large part of these 58 million women - farmers, extractivists, fishermen and aquaculturists - also face challenges, among them, the lack of autonomy to participate in the decision making that is part of their lives and communities. Many work informally and have little support network, thus insecurity increases, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, in this context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Brazil, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), of the total of 5.07 million existing rural establishments, almost 1 million have women in front, equivalent to 19% of the total. Most are in the Northeast (57%), followed by the Southeast (14%), North (12%), South (11%) and Midwest (6%).

The Minister of Agriculture pointed out that in the field the challenges faced by women are evident, with less access to land, credit, technology, mechanization and productive resources and also less access to corporatism. "What this represents is a lost economic potential," said the minister.

And he added that when rural women have access to credit, they are able to go far and “promote the growth and productivity of agriculture, which is the great economic engine of our country”.

Tereza Cristina also noted that, even with the Covid-19 pandemic scenario, these rural women did not interrupt their economic activities. “They are also the ones that meet the demand for food in large and small cities, as well as the continuity of productive activity in full health and safety conditions. And we want to see more women managing farms, driving tractors, leading cooperatives, fishing, planting and harvesting, in short, more women benefiting from the strength of Brazilian agriculture.”

Rural Women Campaign, Women with Rights

In Brazil, the campaign is organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, in partnership with the office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights.

Campaign actions include the dissemination of experiences and knowledge about the transforming power of rural, indigenous and Afro-descendant women, and the holding of competitions, seminars and workshops to raise awareness of public rights and policies.

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