Elimination of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women

Elimination of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women

  • States parties shall take into account the particular problems faced by rural women and the significant roles which rural women play in the economic survival of their families, including their work in the non-monetized sectors of the economy, and shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the application of the provisions of the Convention to women in rural areas.
  • States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in rural areas in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, that they participate in and benefit from rural development and, in particular, shall ensure to such women the right:
  1. To participate in the elaboration and implementation of development planning at all levels;
  2. To have access to adequate health care facilities, including information, counselling and services in family planning;
  3. To benefit directly from social security programmes;
  4. To obtain all types of training and education, formal and non-formal, including that relating to functional literacy, as well as, inter alia, the benefit of all community and extension services, in order to increase their technical proficiency;
  5. To organize self-help groups and co-operatives in order to obtain equal access to economic opportunities through employment or self employment;
  6. To participate in all community activities;
  7. To have access to agricultural credit and loans, marketing facilities, appropriate technology and equal treatment in land and agrarian reform as well as in land resettlement schemes;
  8. To enjoy adequate living conditions, particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and water supply, transport and communications.

The protection of women ’s right to food in international instruments

The human right to adequate food is of crucial importance for the enjoyment of all rights. This right is recognized in several instruments under international law. After the right was formally recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) established binding legal obligations for States parties to respect, protect and fulfil the right, including for women. While the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) does not explicitly mention this right, several other Convention articles, such as articles 2, 3, 4 and 5, are integral to ensuring to women, on a basis of equality with men, the right to adequate food. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights emphasizes the importance of equal access to food or resources for food. Towards this end, national strategies to ensure food and nutrition security for all should give particular attention to the need to prevent discrimination, particularly against women (general comment 12, 1999). The World Food Summits in 1996 and 2002 reinforced the commitment to realizing women’s right to food. Most recently, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Progressive Implementation of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Council in November 2004 provide important guidance for action from a gender perspective.

The impact of desertification on rural women

Desertification is caused by a variety of factors, including climate change, population growth, inappropriate land-use policies, deforestation, expropriation of rangelands, land clearance, overgrazing and inappropriate irrigation practices. As a consequence of desertification and decreased access to productive resources, such as fertile land and water supplies, rural women are left struggling with increased workloads and reduced capacity to fulfil their responsibilities. Decreased soil fertility and soil erosion, resulting from desertification, lead to reduction of crop and livestock productivity. Desertification may cause men to migrate in search of better livelihoods, which leaves women as de facto heads of households. Because of their lower status in the community, women are not involved in critical community decisions regarding land, water, livestock and the management of natural resources. They are not encouraged to contribute their traditional knowledge and expertise to land conservation projects and development projects.

 

Culled From UN Archive

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