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(12 March 2021) - A driving force for sustainable development, rural women however still face major challenges. This article draws attention to examples of initiatives driven by women in which AEIDL is involved, and presents some policy perspectives.

Rural
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Women are vital for the sustainable development of rural areas, bringing added value to local communities. Women are frequently the driving force of innovation, diversification, and the development of new opportunities.

However, these roles are often obscured, with the men of family businesses in rural areas being the registered owner and performer of more visible roles. As such, women in rural areas still face challenges related to employment and education opportunities, access to land, and a weak presence in decision-making forums.

The insufficient understanding and consideration of women’s full contribution in rural areas, presents a deficit in effective and evidence-based policy development.

This should go beyond the farm gate and encapsulate topics such as female entrepreneurship, the role of women in non-agricultural services, voluntary work, childcare shortages, ageing and isolation, etc.

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