Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has paid tribute to rural women, including indigenous women, across the world for their immeasurable contributions in agricultural and rural development worldwide.
In her message on the International Day of Rural Women today (Oct. 15), De Lima urged the government to help rural women improve their plight and that of their families by giving serious attention to their needs and promoting their rights and welfare.
“We honor and salute our rural women for all that they offer despite the challenges. Their hard work, fortitude and sacrifice for the betterment of their families and communities pave the way for the progress not only of their locality but also of the global village,” she said.
“I call on our government to provide them all the opportunities in their community to uplift themselves and their families so they will not think that social mobility is only possible in urban areas,” she added.
The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Rural Women recognizes “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.”
While the first International Day of Rural Women was observed on Oct.15, 2008, the idea of honoring rural women with a special day was reportedly put forward at the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, as early as 1995.
“Developing agricultural livelihoods, carrying out domestic work, ensuring food security, and building climate resilience–these are among the invaluable contributions of women in rural communities where there is a higher vulnerability to climate change and disproportionate poverty,” De Lima pointed out.
De Lima, who chairs the the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, called on her fellow Filipinos to recognize that the plight of rural women are not theirs alone because their contribution critically impacts the public’s chances for a sustainable future.
“Together, let us continue to forge our efforts towards promoting the welfare and rights of rural women, and facilitate progress that redounds to the fulfillment of our collective goals” she added.
De Lima, who continues to fulfill her mandate as a duly elected Senator of the Republic amid her unjust detention, likewise thanked rural women here and abroad “for showing to the world the strength, resilience and unbreakable spirit of Filipino women.” (senate.gov.ph)