This book, edited in Spanish, Portuguese and English by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), compiles written pieces by authors who, from very diverse perspectives, examine the status of rural women and their real contribution to agriculture and development in rural areas.
The purpose of the book is to commemorate the International Day of Rural Women, established by the UN and observed on October 15 each year, as well as to provide a powerful opportunity to reflect on this topic, which will provide an initial framework for the development of solid public policies geared toward rural women.
The authors, most of whom are women, accepted an invitation from the Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, within the framework of the new institutional road map of the inter-American organization, which specializes in agriculture and rural development.
The 2018-2022 Medium-term Plan (MTP) is the roadmap that will guide the Institute’s work, including its new programs and projects, which incorporate gender and youth as cross-cutting issues.
The authors dissect data and statistics on the lives of rural women, and explain the urgency of creating opportunities to empower them; they also describe the reasons for which rural women should be prioritized in national and international agendas, with a view to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additionally, some of the authors share personal, intimate accounts of their own rural origins.
Sebastião Salgado, a renowned social documentary photographer and photojournalist, generously provided IICA with four photographs that form an integral part of the publication. Salgado received the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts in 1998, an accolade that described him as a photographer “who has known how to portray the human condition and to render the inequalities of the modern world with an artistic treatment that is personal, engaged, poetic and technically rigorous.”
Among the authors of the book, one of the largest compilations of unpublished visions and articles on rural women ever printed, are a prime minister (Barbados); three vice-presidents (Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Panama); and a former president (Costa Rica). Several ministers of state who are responsible for equity and social development issues in their respective countries (Portugal, Spain and Argentina), as well as several leaders of women’s movements (in Mexico and Brazil), also participated in the initiative.
Some of the articles are written by senior officials of international organizations, such as the President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, the Chief of Staff of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Secretary General of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) and the Rector of the University for Peace (UPEACE), among others.
Some of the authors, including the CEO of magazines published by Editora Globo y Globo/Condé Nast in Brazil and the gender correspondent for Spanish newspaper El País, represent the world of journalism, while others are opinion or business leaders.
The enlightened voices come from five continents. The authors hail from New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Cuchumatanes Range,
San Marcos de Tarrazú,
Central region, Costa Rica
Meeting of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) prior to occupying land
Rural worker in the Brazilian semi-arid region