Latin America and the Caribbean will articulate position on empowerment of rural women and girls in preparation for CSW62
The Regional Consultations will be held in Santo Domingo on the 6th and 7th of February to establish a route to the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) of the United Nations
Date: Monday, February 5, 2018
Challenges and opportunities in the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls will be the priority theme that brings together the highest regional gender authorities from tomorrow (6th of February) in the capital of the Dominican Republic, on the occasion of the Regional Consultations for Latin America and the Caribbean prior to the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) of the United Nations.
The Consultations, organized by the Ministry of Women of the Dominican Republic, the National Institute of Women of Uruguay and UN Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, will agree on a regional declaration that sets the position of the region in the next session of the CSW, which will take place in New York from March 12 to 23, 2018.
There are 58 million rural women living in the region  who together form a hugely diverse group in terms of their identity, ways of life, social organization and activities they develop.
Indigenous women, Afro-descendants, peasants, fisherwomen, gatherers, self-employed women in the agricultural sector, and women who run their own businesses are part of a population whose economic empowerment is key to the development of the region.
Women living in rural areas make a significant contribution to development and food security, assuming productive, reproductive and social functions in a triple working day that is mostly unpaid and poorly valued. Despite their role in the economy and well-being of their communities, they face more obstacles than men in accessing basic productive resources, suffer from wage discrimination in labor markets and often work without remuneration in family plots and businesses.
The discussions will be organized around three thematic axes, with important links to each other: (1) the right to an adequate standard of living, guaranteeing income security and social protection, (2) the right to food, food security and nutrition; and (3) the right to land and productive resources.
The regional consultations will count on inputs from experts and leaders of the women's movements of Latin America and the Caribbean and civil society organizations, as well as rural and indigenous organizations, to address the challenges for the empowerment of girls and women rural from the diversity of perspectives and experiences. Activists and representatives of Latin American and Caribbean civil society will hold a forum prior to the consultations today, February 5, in Santo Domingo.
Aligned to this theme, on the 8th of March, the theme for International Women's Day is "The time is now: rural and urban activists transform the lives of women."
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 According to data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the rural population of Latin America and the Caribbean is around 121 million people, approximately 20% of the total population. Of these, 48% are women (58 million) and about 20% belong to indigenous communities (24 million). Source: FAO, 2017.