Dimitra Newsletter No. 17

Newsletter N° 17
Brussels, November 2009

Dimitra Newsletter

rural women, gender and development


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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Rome, 2009

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At the end of 2009, despite the international commitments made to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, over a billion people are going hungry and 70% of those women and men who suffer from hunger live in rural areas. These alarming results inevitably raise questions as to the effectiveness of the devel opment policies being implemented and strengthen our determination to continue with our participatory communication actions. Thus, amidst the turmoil of the financial and economic crisis which is severely affecting all countries, we present issue 17 of the Dimitra Newsletter.

Over the past months, Dimitra has been building the capacities of its partners in the area of gender and communication. A training module called ‘Communicating gender for development’ has been developed and tested in Senegal, the DRC and Niger. Its main goal is to clarify what ‘gender’ is all about and how it is used concretely in communication activities. This training module is intended for our various stakeholders and partners: representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture, Family or Gender, Rural Development, Education, etc., as well as farmers’ organisations, NGOs, the media (particularly community radio journalists), and so on.

Community radio listeners’ clubs are a door to the economic, political and social empowerment of rural populations, especially women. They are also a very positive factor for local good governance practices in the framework of decentralisation policies in progress in many African countries. Three new radio listeners’ clubs have been created in Katanga (DRC) and a large number are being formed in Niger, in cooperation with literacy centres and community radio stations. We shall also be presenting Radio Bubusa, a community radio station operated for and by rural women, which has been broadcasting in the province of South Kivu (DRC) since January 2008.

This issue of the Newsletter also introduces readers to the FAO project ‘Capitalisation of Good Practices in Support of Agricultural Production and Food Security’. This project is one of the components of the ‘Knowledge Management and Gender’ programme in the FAO-Belgium partnership, and covers four West African countries: Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. The aim of this programme is to ensure systematic and transversal integration of gender issues through participatory communication and improved information sharing.

© FAO 2009