More empowerment for women in rural areas

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This March, the 62nd session of the UN Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) will take place at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. Today, the European Parliament voted on recommendations to the Council on the EU priorities for this year’s session.

“For the first time in 40 years, the world witnesses a generalised backlash in women’s rights. Now, more than ever we must push to strengthen international cooperation on women’s rights and empowerment. The EU has always been a crucial promoter of gender equality in Europe, and on the world stage. We must continue to do so and even strengthen our efforts. ” says ALDE MEP Izaskun Bilbao, who is Co-Rapporteur on the Parliament’s Recommendation.

The UN Commission on the Status of Women has been a key international forum for the promotion of gender equality and for mainstreaming a gender perspective across policy fields. This year’s priority theme is: “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”.

Izaskun Bilbao: “The many roles played by women in rural communities help to maintain vibrant rural areas and viable farm businesses. Yet, despite their crucial contribution, rural women still face numerous challenges, such as difficulties accessing the labour market, a lack of adequate public services and a weak presence in decision-making forums. Both the UN and the EU have a key role to play in tackling these issues.”

Izaskun Bilbao stresses that Commission, Member States and regional and local governments should ensure affordable facilities and public and private services geared to everyday life in rural areas, and should create the necessary conditions to improve the work-life balance for women in rural areas, in particular by guaranteeing suitable care facilities for dependants, accessible healthcare and public transport.

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