International Day of Rural women to be marked here - Solomon Star News

International Day of Rural women to be marked here

14 October 2015

CELEBRATIONS for the International Day of Rural Women are set to take place at the Honiara Central Market, Honiara, and Auki Market, Malaita Province on Thursday 15 October.

Every year 15 October marks the International Day of Rural Women and around the world rural women are being celebrated as food producers and key drivers of agricultural development.

To mark this globally recognised day UN Women Solomon Islands is working with the Honiara Central Market Vendors’ Association (HCMVA) and Auki Market Vendors’ Association (AMVA) to hold public events at both markets to celebrate, share, and learn from the experiences of rural women and market vendors.

In his message before the International Day of Rural Women UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated, “Rural women are a significant, vital and sizeable proportion of humankind.

“They are farmers and farm workers, horticulturists and market sellers, business women and community leaders.

“Rural women are the backbone of sustainable livelihoods and provide food security for their families and communities.

“Their work is crucial, not only for the progress of rural households and local economies, but also for national economies through rural women’s participation in agricultural value chains.”

It is no coincidence that UN Women is celebrating the International Day of Rural Women with market vendors at Honiara Central and Auki Markets.

Over the last decade rural and urban marketplaces in the Pacific have become recognised as critical to the livelihoods strategies for a majority of the population.

Women dominate these markets – around 75 to 90 per cent of market vendors across the Pacific are women.

Market vendors connect urban consumers with rural producers, they pay significant market fees, and their incomes support families by paying school fees, household expenses, and ultimately keeping families out of poverty.

Strengthening market vendors economic and social security and increasing their opportunities to participate in decision making will

The recent formation of the Honiara Central Market Vendors’ Association and the Auki Market Vendors’ Association opens up avenues for market vendors to organise together, put forward a collective voice, and participate in decision-making processes to drive positive changes within their own lives as well as wide-scale positive change for Solomon Islands.

Everyone is welcome to join the celebrations from 9am – 11am at the Honiara Central Market carpark.

In Auki celebrations will begin with a parade at 8am from BSP to Auki Central Market.

Both events are supported by UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project.

The project is made possible through funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and aims to ensure that marketplaces in Fiji, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.