Rural Women Play Important Role in Food Security (UN Official)
Rabat – Rural women play an important role in food security, UN-Women Deputy Executive Director Anita Bhatia said on Monday.
Behind profound economic and social changes, these women hold an important place in agriculture, value chains and food security, as well as in questions of land and natural resources, in particular the Argane tree, said Bhatia during of a high-level event, initiated by Morocco and the United Nations (UN) as part of the first celebration of International Argane Day.
At a time when the world is faced with a now pressing need, rural women and girls play a “decisive and essential” role in the fight against the increasing destruction of natural resources, she said, recalling that the financial empowerment and emancipation of women in rural areas are at the heart of UN resolutions.
Women in rural areas continue to face obstacles made worse by economic, environmental and food crises, including limited access to loans, health care and education, she said.
Regarding the Argane sector in Morocco, the UN official considers it as “a real model of centuries-old practices that are part of a logic of sustainable development and the economic empowerment of a large number of Moroccan women, in particular in the rural area”.
“I firmly believe in Morocco’s ability to ensure rights and autonomy to women and girls working in the Argane sector,” she said.
She also congratulated Morocco for its leadership in adopting this global commemoration which helps highlight the importance of the Argane biosphere and promotes the action of rural women in this area.
The UN resolution, adopted in March 2021, recognizes the great contribution of the Argane sector in the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the achievement of sustainable development in its three economic, social and environmental dimensions, noted Bhatia.
This global commemoration recognizes the key role of the Argane sector in achieving the SDGs, particularly in rural areas, and sheds light on the importance of the sector in the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of local communities, especially women in rural areas, she said.
UN-Women works closely with the Moroccan government, civil society organizations, the private sector and women’s cooperatives to achieve gender equality, particularly in the areas of women’s economic empowerment and the integration of the gender dimension in public policies, she concluded.
Organized in hybrid format under the chairmanship of Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests Aziz Akhannouch, this high-level event is aired on UN web TV, as well as on YouTube and social media.