UN: Step up efforts to empower women, particularly rural women

United Nations has called on States to promote, in particular, the social, cultural, and economic rights of rural women.

In a message to mark International Women’s Day, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, urged “States and other stakeholders to step up efforts aimed at empowering women, particularly rural women.”

Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women

“The active participation of women in development and poverty reduction programmes is an issue of utmost importance to tackle and eliminate the structural causes of violence against women,” she added.

Ms. Manjoo noted that violence against women results from a complex interplay of individual, family, community and social factors.

She called for a holistic approach that does not treat all women homogenously. Such approach must recognize “that discrimination and violence affect women in different ways depending on how they are positioned within different social, economic and cultural contexts,” Ms. Manjoo said.

She stressed the need for “realization of economic and social rights for rural women, increased and equal access to assets and resources, including equal inheritance rights,” adding that they are important in overcoming women’s dependence on their spouses and families.

“Legal and policy environments which are responsive and promote independence and empowerment of women, is also essential for women to seek remedies for violations of rights,” Ms. Manjoo said.