On this day, October 15, the International Day of Rural Women was held. A day that continues to be marked by raising awareness for the inequality of women in rural areas and lack of recognition for their work. One problem lies, especially in poorly developed countries in many parts of the world, where, at the same time, other circumstances are added such as extreme poverty, gender or ethnic inequality, or violence.
In Guatemala, for instance, is where we can find these types of rural and indigenous workers (73% of the indigenous and 70% of the rural population are poor). The rural poverty rate is twice that of urban areas. In this sense, a rural woman can expect to earn around 30% less than a man, while further adding that in this society the meanings of “being a woman” and “being a man” are well-established roles.
Rural areas in Guatemala are populated by many female weavers who, when not dealing with the tasks of cultivation, produce traditional Mayan fabrics for sale in local markets. Initiatives such as agricultural development programs through the United Nations, help these women make this art their livelihood, a livelihood that is valued and recognized. Through training, funding, and protection, they have been able to develop garment designs that are sold in international markets and most importantly, enables them to develop independently and to improve the prospects of their own future and their families.
This is why gender policies and reforms on the rights of rural women are necessary to enable them access to resources, decent jobs, fair wages, and help promote both training and technical and financial assistance.
In turn it is very important to expand their leadership and improve their participation locally in rural communities and institutions, just as it is possible to facilitate their association and dissemination.
IEP (Instituto de Estudios Peruanos)