Integrating Women in Rural Development

Before rural development can be successful, the important role of women has to be acknowledged. Moreover, they have to be fully integrated and given the possibility of acquiring knowledge and skills, and of utilizing them as well.

The government should also abolish the legally based discrimination of women fixed in inheritance rights; give them equal access to land, livestock, and means of production; make it possible for them to participate in business activities; and guarantee them a right to membership and voting in labour organizations, credit associations, and similar organizations.

The number of women in training and extension programmes should be increased, especially in posts from which they have been excluded until now. The contents and subjects of training and extension programmes should be expanded so that the role of women in production, processing, and marketing can also be taken into account.

To achieve participation equal to that of men in public institutions, the women's cooperative activities should be promoted. To achieve this goal, it will be necessary to create a system for ascertaining the obstacles hindering the participation of women in schools, health services, employment, and general development. Statistical data showing women's contribution in production should be compiled and published. Measures facilitating household work and care of the children increase the chance for women to participate in economic, training, and political activities. Men should also be obligated to do their share of household work.

Training facilities of equal quality for girls and women, with the same subject matter as for men, should be established and made attractive by offering scholarships. These institutions should be followed up by possibilities of earning an income with the guarantee of an equal salary for equal work. Training possibilities for women are especially important not only in the fields of agriculture and in non- agricultural gainful employment, but also in the sectors health, nutrition, children's education, and family planning. It is necessary to make sure that, during the transition from a traditional economy to the modern technologies, the negative implications for women are minimized.