The Future of Gender Equality in Rural Areas

Voices of rural women are being heard this month at the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62). The topics range from abuse against women, to labor laws, women in politics, giving the tools and support to empower women, and how to educate men in respecting women. I had the opportunity in talk with several world leaders on a more casual basis while listening to different panels. These are the topics, people, and organizations that stood out the most. Here is the future of Gender Equality In Rural Areas:

Marilou McPhedran – Senator of Canadian Parliament. 

The moment I walked into the UN office, I was met by Marilou who was sitting at the table after her interview with Pvblic. She had her notebook and phone out reviewing the day ahead. I started to setup my work station when I over heard her and another women, Lopa Banerjee (from UN Women) discuss the tragedy of rural women being incarcerated and victimize nearly immediately once entering urban areas.

I immediately tuned into what the women were saying. I asked Ms. McPhedran what is the number one reason these women were being incarcerated?

She responded with, well it’s complicated. She then went into explaining that typically indigenous, rural, and remote women of Canada come into Urban cities for education or work but typically don’t have the support or tools to do so. Organized criminals wait until these women and youths are pushed out into the margin before they are captured and then either sold into trafficking, go missing, or murdered. The women who are incarcerated are often found guilty for theft or violence against their predator, or for forced prostitution.

What the Senator of Canada is doing to help is holding decarceration studies, looking at the disproportionate number of indigenous women incarcerated for small crimes. 

Elizabeth Khorono (left) and Sizani Ngubane (right) discussing how they are empowering women in their regions.

Elizabeth Khorono- Baha’i international Community

As Ms. Khorono sat waiting before her interview, I asked about what she is speaking upon. She mentioned that poverty and hunger are the brunt of the challenge in Baha’i. Unfortunately, women and youths are affected the most. However, women are also the answer to the problem. They are resilient, strategic and creative in coming up with ways to solve the issue. 

Ms. Khorono mentioned it is vital to have conversations with these women, and listen to their strategies. She also mentioned that education is key for girls to break the cycle. As for the elder, it is important to give them more resources to reduce the burden. 

Tyrone Buckmire speaking at CSW62
Tyrone Buckmire

Tyrone Buckmire- Director of Legal Aid & Counselling Clinic Grenada, West Indies 

An interview that I was able to sit in on with Pvblic was with Tyrone Buckmire. For the past 30 years, Mr. Buckmire has worked on helping women and youths by providing inclusive and access real tangeible assets to help their families. He is also an advocate in educating young men how to respect women. He said it is important to engage men in a community level where they are and show them the impact of violence against women and children. They show the impact of what happens growing up in that environment. He mentioned there is a lot of support if men are engaged in a right way.

Mr. Buckmire stated to be free of sexual violene against women and girls would be a great accomplishment. To completely rid of gender based violence is an accomplishment he’s striving for.

Gender Equality In Rural Areas
Fiona Gower

Fiona Gower-  National President of Rural Women New Zealand 

The last friendly face I met of the day was none other than Fiona Gower. She was the kindest and most excited to be attending The CSW62. She mentioned the Rural Women New Zealand have been around for over 90 years trying to help women who are affected by isolation, social isolation, and provide advocacy work. Their biggest issue is having quality digital connection around the sprawling country. They are also looking to be picked up by bigger media outlets so they can celebrate their success stories and bring hope and resilience to other rural women farmers.

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