UN commission vote a positive step for rights of rural women
The rights of rural women and girls around the world have been given a boost after UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) voted to improve their working and living conditions, including the recognition of sexual and reproductive rights.
The main theme for the 62nd session of the CSW in New York was to find ways to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.
GUE/NGL was represented by MEPs Ángela Vallina and Lidia Senra. Vallina, co-rapporteur of the European Parliament recommendation to the CSW, said:
“It was very important that the CSW approved its recommendations to improve the situation of rural women and girls because the last time this issue was raised back in 2012, an agreement could not be reached.”
“This time, we succeeded in face of fierce opposition from ultraconservatives and also the likes of the Vatican and the United States which preferred to have maternal health instead of a recognition for the sexual and reproductive rights of rural women,” she said.
In particular, Vallina was pleased that the recommendations put forward by the European Parliament have been approved at the CSW. Amongst them were equal pay for work of equal value between women and men; the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); facilitating the access of rural women to economic and productive resources including land; and the recognition of their property rights and heritage of their lands as well as women’s full participation in the decision-making process in rural areas.
Also in New York was Lidia Senra as part of her role in drafting the report on women and their roles in rural areas:
“Women’s role in food production cannot be underestimated – women feed the world and this recognition is very important. Their model of food production is also an important barrier to the twin onslaughts of climate change and industrialisation.”
“We must defend the struggle of rural women against multinational corporations which invade their lands and steal their resources. We denounce the violent occupations of these farmlands and we support the plight of the many rural communities around the world, especially the women,” Senra said.