I wish to start my speech with by thanking to the W20 Indonesian Presidency for inviting me and taking the topic of rural women into the agenda.
In rural areas we have women judges, lawyers and architects and bankers and businesspeople who choose to live outside of the city boundaries. With the Covid 19 pandemic many more professionals have moved to the countryside, and they prefer to work from distance and some of them now even have rural investments.
Rural women play a key role in food security, rural livelihoods, and agriculture, as well as in agro-biodiversity conservation and natural resource management.
Additionally, rural women pose a great potential for all our future simply because they are the key corner stones for our food safety and environment friendliness.
Our governments need to make the infrastructural investments in the rural areas like road construction, ease of transportation and invest in utilities like electricity, water, sewage, or irrigation systems and provide connectivity for internet and mobile devices.
The lag of infrastructural investments affects all people like: men, women, and youth. We all know that any affect puts additional burden on women and youth. It is estimated that 60% of chronically hungry people are women and girls¹.
Furthermore, the impact of climate change affect everyone negatively, meaning we may have more hungry people in the world. This also means that we will all be poorer if we can’t feed these people.
According to UN Women² if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20-30%, raising total agricultural output in these countries by 2.5-4%, which will in turn reduce the number of hungry people in the world by around 12 – 17%.
Green jobs are decent jobs that:
• reduce consumption of energy and raw materials;
• limit greenhouse gas emissions or worsening our environment;
• support the fight with the climate change;
• minimize waste and pollution and
• protect and restore our ecosystems.
Green skills are those that improve involvement in these green jobs.
Green investments in areas, such as organic farming, agro-tourism, certification and branding processes for organic and sustainable produce, and farm-to-market food systems, need to be specifically targeted to rural women and youth. I know a rural woman who has figured out to play music for her cows in return for a better produce. We need to expand the basic education and the knowledge base and tell where we should thrive to go.
The principle of “leave no one behind” dictates us that us that we need to spend more efforts towards this end. Experience dictates us that we need to work on all dimensions for women. In 2015, when we said that women in leadership positions both in the political and business spheres shall bring sustainable growth and social care infrastructure including childcare shall bring additional sustainability and growth to our societies. People told me that I am a dreamer.
As of 1 September 2021, there were 26 women serving as Heads of State and/or Government in 24 countries out of 140 countries. =24/140 is 17% 18,5%
The share of woman-led Fortune 500 companies has hit a record high last year, with 44 female CEOs at the helm of some of the largest corporations in the U.S. But perhaps the biggest takeaway from this year’s list is just how uneventful the changes in women’s leadership are – a sign that female CEOs are finding stability and staying power atop Fortune 500 companies. = 44/500 is 8.8% with almost 9%
We also see that many countries are adapting regulation and investing in child and elderly care infrastructures.
The figures could have been better but at least we see that they are improving.
Therefore, I suggest that we still need to continue dreaming for a better world.
I propose that we spend our energy to enlighten all, for a better understanding and building consciousness for more green efforts. And I propose that we develop a G20–wide green skills program, and we promote this consciousness of the basic premises in our respective countries. We need to get our message to all our urban and rural and governmental friends regarding why irrigation is important, why clean water is important, why optimum fertilization and pesticide use are important, we should try to go towards organic, why to connect digitally or with mobile, why reaching out to the customer and selling is crucial and why we need to have decent work conditions in rural production.
Our leadership to disseminate the targets for the green world and general knowledge on where rural women should head regarding the climate change and hunger can shed a light for our future.
We need to communicate all these principles. After all leadership is target setting.
Thank you for listening.
¹ WFP Gender Policy and Strategy.