COMMUNITY RECOGNITION STATEMENT - International Day of Rural Women

Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland) (21:31:40): The COV1D-19 pandemic has thrust rural women onto the front line of crisis response at the same time their unpaid care and domestic work has increased under lockdown conditions. Globally, restrictions on mobility, disruptions to established supply chains, and climate and conflict crises have added to their load.

This year, the annual International Day of Rural Women is more important than ever, and its theme, "Building Rural Women's Resilience in the Wake of COV1D-19" should give us all pause for reflection. While rural women toil under such difficult conditions and rise to meet the challenges of the pandemic, in many cases they still face systemic gender discrimination and norms that impede their ability to maintain sustainable livelihoods and personal wellbeing. This can manifest as a lack of women's rights to land, property and resources, and in the age of COVID-19 these are magnified.

This International Rural Women's Day we must commit to building rural women's resilience by bolstering women's land rights in law and practice, addressing discriminatory gender norms, and investing in basic infrastructure and healthcare service. This is a chance to build back better.