Only a few minutes left of the International Women’s Day and my thoughts go to all women around the world who still live in structural and institutional discrimination, preventing them from making their own choices and living their lives according to their wishes and potentials. With the work that I have, my thoughts go especially to women in the agricultural sector, who in many parts of the world by far outnumber men that are active in the sector, but who due to structural and institutional discrimination don’t have rights to the land they are cultivating, are not allowed to bring their produce to markets, or to be the signatories for contract farming. Instead, men in the household earn the income from the work of the women, and would something happen to the men, the women can be forced off the land at any time by other male relatives. Fortunately, changes are taking place all over the world, and I hope that later in my career, the issues of women’s access to land and markets will no longer be part of my work. For that to happen, change has to take place a lot more rapidly though.
Uzbek female farmers on a study visit at a model dairy farm. There were about 100 men and eight women on the visit (the woman to the left worked on the farm, and another women in the group is part of the Extension Services or the Ministry of Agriculture. if I remember correctly). Since International Women’s Day is more of a day for appreciation of women in Eastern Europe than a day for women’s rights as originally intended, I also got some good wishes today from friends in the East, which was touching!