Wed | Oct 28, 2020

Letter of the Day | Hats off to rural women

Published:Thursday | October 15, 2020 | 12:15 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

SINCE TIME immemorial, rural women have silently been the backbone of our country’s development, preservers of our culture, and builders of our economy. Though rarely celebrated, acknowledged, and supported, they remain optimistic while sustaining several rural families, households, and communities. On October 15, the international community observes International Day of Rural Women as a day that recognises “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty”.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has shown international, regional, and local communities the grit and grace that rural women and girls have always had,as they have been firmly standing at the front line of COVID-19. This grit and grace has remained intact despite the many existing disadvantages such as domestic violence; increased workloads, including caring for the elderly and children simultaneously while managing COVID-19 in communities; and less access to social protection and infrastructure, among others. Nonetheless, the courage and enormous strength of our rural women over the years has prepared them for such a time as this.

Undoubtedly, the world will be a different place when this pandemic ends. A post COVID-19 world will require women who are robust, flexible, and empowered to think and act. Likewise, a post COVID-19 will also require governments and key development agencies to invest in our rural women and girls now so that their resilience can be strengthened. This demands critical actions now. Let us not put off for tomorrow what we can do today,

The message is clear: more needs to be done. The Jamaica Network of Rural Women Producers looks forward to continued partnerships with stakeholders as we do our part in bringing a total transformation in the local, regional, and international agriculture sectors.

On behalf of the Jamaica Network of Rural Women Producers, I wish to extend my heartfelt congratulations to our local, regional, and international rural girls and women for their achievements during the past year and laud their heroic efforts, perseverance, and unfailing resilience in the management of this global pandemic.

T amisha Lee

President

Jamaica Network of Rural

Women Producers