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Chapter 9

IDSA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Epicenter

International Development Studies
Course Code
Leslie Chan

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The Role of Rural Women in Agriculture
Written by! Saquina Mucavele, MuGeDe - Women, Gender and Development, Republic of
Mozambique - Southern Africa
-One of the major weaknesses of the agricultural sector is to be found in the:
1. production
2. disposal
3. preservation
4. processing
5. marketing of agricultural products
-We must undertake joint efforts to create favourable conditions in agricultural areas,
6. the reinforcement of road networks for the transportation of produce from production
areas where rural women work
7. the processing and commercialization of such products.
-A need to drop policies which are less favourable to rural women, focusing on the
appreciation of their role as producers of wealth and strengthening the network of public
services in rural areas, including:
8. health
9. education
10. welfare services
11. establishing policies that combat the asymmetries that prevent rural women from being
protected against the effects of climate change
-The training of rural women is very important, especially with the adoption of modern
agricultural techniques that are tailored to local conditions and that use natural resources
in a sustainable manner, with a view to achieving economic development without degrading
the environment
-requires the dissemination of the results of research carried out by experts - including
those on agro-ecological techniques -with a view to increasing Rural Womens production
-To this effect, it must be pointed out that agro-ecological practices require the provision of
certain public goods, such as extension services, storage facilities, rural infrastructure
(roads, electricity, and information and communication technologies), access to markets
and access to credit, as well as supporting organizations and farmer cooperatives
-Governments have a key role to play in relation thereto, as well as supporting the access to
land, water and seeds by rural women who are involved in small-scale agriculture
-Giving support to rural women is a way of breaking the vicious cycle that leads to rural
poverty and to the expansion of slums in the cities, where the poor get poorer
-Development strategies should consider rural women as the epicenter, paying special
attention to their social skills both within and without agriculture sector
-Policies established for the benefit of rural women should be tested and reassessed by the
beneficiaries, using them as a social learning tool and not as individuals on whom political
authority is exercised.
-Rural women - instead of being treated as mere beneficiaries should, in other words, be
viewed as experts who possess knowledge which complement experts formal
-Participation in policies that benefit rural women can ensure truthful answers being given
to this vulnerable group, since membership empowers impoverished subjects and is a vital
step towards poverty alleviation.
-In order to contribute to an increase in the levels of production and productivity, it is
necessary to provide support to those women's organizations and farmers who promote new
conceptual and development programs and who contribute to the implementation of new
ideas by women with a view to diversifying income-generating activities and the provision
of other services in rural areas
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