The National Movement of Rural Women invites members of the press to celebrate International Day of Rural Women (IDoRW) on the 15th of October 2020.
Observed since 2008, IDoRW – established by the United Nations General Assembly in its Resolution 62/136 of 18 December 2007 – recognises “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.”
The South African government believes that rural women play a critical role in the rural economies of both developed and developing countries. In most parts of the developing world, they participate in crop production and livestock care, provide food, water and fuel for their families’ livelihoods. In addition, they carry out vital functions in caring for children, the elderly and the sick.
The theme for International Day of Rural Women 2020 is “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19,” and aims to “create awareness of these women’s struggles, their needs, and their critical and key role in our society.” The NMRW will be commemorating this day across their social media platforms (@NMRW_RuralWomen) as well as hosting an event at the end of October to explore the far-reaching impact of this pandemic and unpack mechanisms of assistance, relief and upliftment.
About the National Movement of Rural Women (NMRW)
The NMRW is a non-profit, grassroots organisation founded in April 1990 by a network of 16 women’s ground across the then Transvaal region of South Africa. Before 1990, the network of women had been engaging through the Transvaal Action Committee (TRAC) which was formed in 1986. The NMRW has regional offices in four provinces, namely KwaZulu-Natal , Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West. The regional offices are manned by regional coordinators. The regions of the NMRW preceded the national demarcations of provinces.
Under its Social Justice arm, the NMRW was set up with the purpose of giving rural women in South Africa a voice. Many women in the 1990s were not able to inherit land or speak freely about problems they faced within their communities. For example, until 1994 married black women were considered minors in the eyes of the law. The NMRW has, therefore, taken as its mandate the championing of the rights of rural women: education, health, security and equality, to name a few.
Under their economic justice arm, the NMRW supports projects financially and through capacity building by providing incubation and training workshops equipping the women with the following skills: financial management, project and business management, tender processes, identifying and appraising businesses, and health and welfare. The supported projects create employment for rural women and strengthen networks among NMRW members. The projects are wholly owned by community members. They range from agriculture – rear broilers, layers, livestock and gardens – to sewing, beadwork, brick making, pottery and crafts.