By Panagrimedia Correspondent, October 13, 2023 In celebration of Rural Women’s Day on 15 October, the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has collaborated with the Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir (SGC) to launch the #Sing4RuralWomen social media challenge. Through a new song composed by IFAD’s Carlo Ladd, and interpreted by SGC, this initiative aims to celebrate the pivotal role played by rural women worldwide and raise awareness through music and dance on social media.
The #Sing4RuralWomen campaign invites everyone on social media to share their versions, particularly through the duet/remix feature on TikTok and Instagram. Videos will be collected on a dedicated microsite using the campaign’s hashtag.
“Rural women and girls are agents of change in their communities. Their role needs to be not only recognized but also boosted,” said Alvaro Lario, President of IFAD.
“We sing this message to the world: rural women matter. They are the driving force behind their communities, but we also know their contributions go unrecognized far too often. We hope people across the globe will join us to celebrate them!” said SGC in a statement from Australia, where they are on tour now.
One in four of the world’s working women are employed in agriculture. In low-income countries, this proportion rises to 62 per cent. However, only 15 per cent of land is owned by women. Women are also less able to access credit, making it harder to build a resilient business.
IFAD’s unwavering commitment to gender equality addresses the root causes of gender disparities, including social norms, religious beliefs, and policy constraints that prevent women and girls from thriving and reaching their potential.
As IFAD nears the final stages of its three-year replenishment campaign, marked by recent substantial commitments from France, Norway, and Spain for the next funding cycle (2025-2027), Alvaro Lario called on leaders worldwide to respond urgently to the growing global food insecurity, persistent poverty, and the escalating impacts of climate change on small-scale farmers and rural populations.
“We are building momentum. #Sing4RuralWomen is another effort to showcase why gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. The right investments in rural women and men are essential to combat hunger and poverty, promote sustainable food production, and address climate change,” said Lario.
IFAD’s investments between 2019 and 2021 improved food security for 57 million people worldwide and increased food production for 62 million individuals.