Celebrating women’s day: reflections

I have come to this reflection after Friday’s celebrations. What does it really mean to celebrate women?. Specially those who are still working in the fields to subsist and are not included in the social, political and economic processes of societies and countries.Women in rural areas are in charge of the fields, families and even communities. They have to cultivate, maintain, preserve and improve the crops to assure food and nutrition. They have to overcome limitations so the food is there for their loved ones. Women in the Andes are a good example of what I say, they have preserved many varieties of different crops, fruits, roots and tubers. Their ’emic’ knowledge has been the instrument to achieve the continuity of these crops. We have to value their work and compromise ourselves to improve their lives. It is their right. Many people have asked me if I consider them poor and my response is ‘no’. And it was on Friday that someone asked me why? and I said the region is one of the richest areas of the world because of its diversity in flora, fauna and minerals, it is the system (the state) that has failed to provide its citizens to fulfil their basic needs. Women need to be integrated and participate actively in all processes. It does not matter education, language or culture. They need to be considered in policies and programs. Not social programs but productive programs. They need to share their knowledge and learn from other experiences to improve their lives. Policies have to be holistic and systemic in order to tackle the different levels women need to improve. The macro level looks after policies and laws and has a continuos presence from governments and the state. The meso level will cover organizations and institutions and it will definitely look after the social norms still embedded in societies, these that give women an invisible position. At this level, organizational and community development is needed. The development of capacities and skills are key to put women and men at similar conditions. The use of participatory methods and experiential learning will be essential. The results of the previous levels will impact the household level. Husband and wife will equally assume responsibilities and activities without considering these to be “gendered”. if women and men work together without any stigmatism, the children will learn that it is both women and men who have to assume different roles in order to have a better life. And the end, married women and girls will have the same options than men and boys.


Published by silviasarapuraescobar

Interdisciplinary researcher and scholar with professional experience in agricultural and food systems and gender. For the past ten years, I have worked in different contexts of Latin America, Africa and South East Asia. Converse fluently in Spanish, at an intermediate level in Portuguese and Italian, and at a basic level in French.

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