Today in Krushevo, President Stevo Pendarovski addressed the event marking the International Day of Rural Women.
The event is organized by the National Federation of Farmers with the support of the Swedish Development Organization “We Effect” and the German Society for International Cooperation – GIZ, with the aim of raising awareness of the importance and role of women from rural areas and improving their economic and social position in society.
Below is the integral address of President Pendarovski.
Dear fellow citizens from rural areas,
Dear members of the National Federation of Farmers,
Dear representatives of state institutions and local self-government,
Dear representatives of the diplomatic corps,
I thank you for the honor to be part of the event dedicated to the celebration of October 15 – International Day of Rural Women. Today, exactly by marking this significant date and organizing this event, we contribute to raising awareness of the importance of contribution of rural women to local communities, but also to society as a whole. Unfortunately, we have to admit that in reality we are still far from achieving full equality for rural women at any level in the country.
Undoubtedly, we have a lot of work ahead of us to enable economic independence and social integration of rural women. At the same time, a necessary condition is the support of women’s leadership and the organizations that deal with this issue.
The voice of rural woman, her needs and problems she faces, should be heard, but also solved. The support of this category of women must not be declarative and purposeful, as it usually is, and not only on the international day, but essential and constant. That is why the engagement of all stakeholders and a functional partnership between state institutions and civil society organizations is needed in order to include rural women in the decision-making process at all levels, so that they themselves will become creators of policies and initiatives to improve their position. Simply put, in other words, they should decide for themselves and their role in society.
Of course, it is crucial to overcome stereotypes and the traditional appreciation of the place and the role of women in the community and in society, which is most pronounced in rural areas. In this context, the topics of providing paid maternity leave and health insurance to agricultural women are particularly relevant.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Rural women are the backbone of local economy, contributing as farmers, seasonal workers and entrepreneurs. With their engagement, they indeed contribute and support the family by providing food and supplies for the household, but also to the production that they place on the markets. Moreover, their daily care for the family and the biggest burden of raising and upbringing children must be appraised. Rural women are an example of dedication, solidarity and care for others.
Therefore, they deserve to receive unreserved support and help from each of us, within the scope of our competences. Certainly one of the ways to improve the situation is networking and using the experiences of other countries. I welcome the creation of a regional platform for joint action to improve the economic and social condition of rural women. I welcome and express my gratitude for the presence of today’s event to the organizations that come from the countries of the Western Balkans and participate, which are part of this regional platform.
Let me conclude my address by wishing success to the regional platform and in general to all organizations and activists in their efforts to support rural women and improve their socio-economic position in society.