Conference "Equal Opportunities for Sustainable Communities"
Ahead of the International Rural Women's Day - October 15, LAG AGRO LEADER organized a Conference "Equal Opportunities for Sustainable Communities".
More than 60 representatives of national institutions, academic institutions, business entities, civic associations, rural residents, gave their support with their presence at the event to the global campaign - 17 days of activism for rural women in which the Local Action Group AGRO LEADER through A series of activities supported by the Open Society Foundation - Macedonia has raised its voice to empower rural women and their communities locally, nationally and globally.
At the event, participants discussed, shared knowledge, networked and supported each other through the lens of the challenges faced by rural women. The aim of the conference was to emphasize the importance of gender equality and access to rights and protection for rural women, as well as to explore effective methods for recognizing their work and creating an environment of equal opportunities and gender equality.
The key priorities for supporting rural women were presented by the following speakers
Mag. Harald Fugger - Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Labor, Health and Consumer Protection of the Republic of Austria
Dr. Ivona Shushak - Faculty of Law, University "St. Kliment Ohridski" Bitola
Prof. Blagica Sekovska - Department of Rural Economics, University "St. Cyril and Methodius” Skopje
Mrs. Snezana Karatoseska – Journalist
Mr. Borce Petkovski - Representative of the Agency for Support of Agricultural Development
Representatives of LAG AGRO LEADER shared their experience and perspective as a non-governmental organization that actively works on social and economic empowerment of rural women, to achieve gender equality, reduce labor-intensive activities of rural women and strengthen their voice and their participation in the processes of creating policies and making decisions that have a direct impact on their lives.
Some of the key priorities for rural women actively involved in the agricultural sector are the right to paid maternity leave for women farmers, access to land, access to social services, and their active participation in policy-making processes that meet their real needs.
At the conference, the online platform Domashno.mk was promoted as a tool for inclusive, digital agricultural transformation that will make a significant contribution to improving the livelihood of women farmers and women in rural areas in our country. This approach will enable the strengthening of women's digital skills, and digitalization will enable greater engagement in agriculture, the creation of employment opportunities in the supply chain, and the development of prosperous businesses in rural areas.
Rural women are heroines, and what they need are inspiration and support, and institutions and NGOs need to work continuously to reduce gender inequality in rural areas and provide women with access to resources, mentoring programs, services, technologies, and financial opportunities, because only by investing in the social and economic empowerment of women in rural areas will we create sustainable communities.