Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

This is very interesting and urgent topic since the women in rural areas still remain the most vulnerable. In recent years many NGOs in Armenia have been particularly active in addressing the problems of women in rural areas. Some examples that I'd like to share with you.

Harvest festival: Rural Life and Traditions-the aim of this festival is to gather the women from different regions of Armenia to  sell their fruits, vegetables, homemade jams, honey during the festival which is usually taking place in the capital of Armenia. Prior to the festival, the NGO, that is organizing the event is contacting rural women and doing trainings for them so that they know what is sold better, they help this women to do the packaging and helping them to make the product more marketable. And also the NGO does the whole PR and Marketing of the event. Many international organizations and ministries are being contacted, so that they are aware of the event and they come to buy natural products from rural women. One  very  good thing about this festival is that whole family of these rural women help them to participate for this event. So that young boys help their mothers with the logistics and selling the products. Although very young, theseboys and girls realize how important they are to their families and to the society.They see that their mom is doing something very useful to their families and they can be part of it. These way the division of work between men and women disappeares. These women may not become millionaires during the festival, but their mindset change:Rural women and their families feel appreciated and very respected,  they realize that they can do something with the resources they have, earn money and be helpful.

Trainings for Rural Women-at first when NGO's and minsitries started organizing trainings in remote areas of Armenia, it's been quite difficult. Most of the women in rural areas faced the issue that their husbands were not allowing them to participate in trainings, because of lack of trust and also it sounded strange to them, it was something new. The organizing NGOs decided that it will be easier at first to have women as trainers so that to overcome the barrier of mistrust of husbands. The women trainers held discussions with husbands and invited them to trainings as well, so that they know what's going on and also get involved in discussions held. Having a woman trainer and inviting men as well improved the situation a lot. Rural women and their husbands had an example of a woman trainer who succeded in life and now she was sharing her experience with others. These trainings were very much motivating and educating at the same time. And now the situtation improved a lot. Many male trainers visit rural areas and organize trainings on a wide range of topics. Women are eager to participate, since their husbands have nothing against and it's a good occasion to learn something new and useful and somehow get out of  everyday rural life and works.