What is Dimitra?
Dimitra is named after Demeter, the ancient Greek goddess of agriculture and harvests.
Dimitra, an FAO project
The Dimitra project, which has its main office in Brussels (Belgium), was launched in 1994 by the European Commission with the support of the King Baudouin Foundation.
It has been a project of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) since 1998 and receives financial support from the Belgian Development Cooperation. Dimitra also benefits from the support of other bi- or multilateral funding agencies in the framework of its field activities.
Since 2008, Dimitra is part of the FAO-Belgium partnership programme "Knowledge Management and Gender".
Objectives: gender, communication and rural development
Dimitra is a participatory information and communication project which contributes to improving the visibility of rural populations, women in particular.
The goal of Dimitra is to highlight the role of women and men as producers, so that their respective interests are better taken into consideration and they can fully participate in the rural development of their communities and countries.
The project builds the capacities of rural populations, women in particular, through information dissemination and the exchange of experiences. It aims at helping rural women and their organisations to make their voices heard at national and international levels. This way, it contributes to improving their living conditions and status by highlighting the importance and value of their contributions to food security and sustainable development. Dimitra also strives to make development actors more gender sensitive and to promote gender equality.
Dimitra’s work is guided by three important principles:
- partnership - working closely with local partner organisations to highlight local knowledge;
- participation - active participation of civil society organisations;
- networking - supporting the exchange of good practices, ideas and experiences.
Today, about ten African organisations have a partnership agreement with Dimitra to collect information on organisations based in Africa which work with rural women and/or use a gender approach. All the information collected is integrated into our regularly updated Database. Particular attention is given to the link between women and men farmers’ organisations and community radios. An indispensable communication tool in Africa, community radio is an important development actor, particularly in rural areas.
What Dimitra does:
collaborate with its African partners to raise awareness on gender issues for sustainable development and to collect information on organisations which work on gender issues and/or with rural women;
disseminate this information as largely as possible, using both new technologies (Internet, on-line Database, etc.) and more “traditional” means of communication (newsletter, brochures, community radio, radio listeners’ clubs, etc.);
support the organisation of workshops, conferences and events on themes and issues determined at the grassroots, women’s organisations in particular;
facilitate the networking of grassroots organisations;
strengthen the capacities of civil society organisations and the personnel of relevant ministries in the field of information, communication, gender, advocacy and networking;
promote the exchange of information between rural populations, grassroots organisations, NGOs, Ministries and all other development actors, women and men alike.