Any time I hear the term ‘Rural Women’, what comes to my mind first are my relations and other women who reside in my village. It is not just my relations, but other dwellers in my village and other surrounding villages.
I usually go home (Village) for big social functions like weddings, funerals and chieftaincy installations or church investitures. The villagers attend these functions in their best outfits and look on innocently. Many are dreaming or wishing they were in the shoes of those who came in from the towns with all their show of wealth.
All these rural women and men are FARMERS. They trek some miles to and fro their farms daily. This means they do their minimum of 30 minutes daily exercise which those of us who live in cities will have to struggle to find time for.
The rural women eat fresh fruits, vegetables and foods straight from the farm.
Many of them are engaged in what we now refer to as ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ and they are the ones maintaining a balance in the ecosystem.
Rural women, the majority of whom depend on natural resources and agriculture for their livelihoods, make up over a quarter of the total world population, according to The United Nations. In developing countries, rural women represent approximately 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force, and produce, process and prepare much of the food
He says the workload of the family is mostly handled by women and girls; The women take care of the children, do the farming and housework. They also take care of their husbands. Due to inadequate family planning methods, many rural women have more than four children who end up helping them on the farm.
Consequently, rural women cannot do proper economic or business planning to help their homes in the future. things are gradually changing. Women are now forming small Cooperative Groups where they make regular savings. The Savings can be accessed for personal/seasonal expenses. it also guarantees some freedom of economic independence and personal dignity.
Women at a training on Shea butter production.
(Courtesy: Segnet Resources )