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International Women's Day statement
Youth Agrarian Society
March 08, 2013

Youth Agrarian Society joins the rest of the world in commemorating this year's International Women's Day under the theme on the 8th of March 2013. A day that is set aside to celebrate the strides that have been made to advance women's rights and to reflect on the obstacles that still remain that include but are not limited to violence, limited economic empowerment opportunities and poverty.

In rural Zimbabwe, women play a critical role in the developmental work through their contributions to agriculture production, providing much of the farming work force. Despite their significant role as agricultural producers, women's access and ownership to land and other key productive resources remains limited and they lack legal control over the land they can farm. Reducing gender inequality and recognising the contributions of women to agriculture is critical in attaining food security. There is compelling and consistence evidence that when the status of women is improved, agricultural productivity increases, poverty is reduced and nutrition improves.

As YAS we will continue to work with young women in rural areas lobbying for their access, ownership and control of land where they have land rights and secure tenure. We believe empowering young women with knowledge and skills development in agriculture will go along way in rural development and improving the socio-economic status of women. This will also strengthen their capacity to demand protection against violence and gender barriers. Economic empowerment of women has done so much to help the women onto the ladder of economic activity and that has come with community respect, political legitimacy and influence. However the pace has been slow, and as such now it is the time to strengthen the social, political and economic emancipation of women.

Today the unparalleled challenges that the country is facing, do not require the traditional ways of governing society, instead it calls for approaches that moves the society away from the decision making that served us poorly in the recent years. Having more women in key decision making places in political, social and economic processes would help build a better society that values each individual and the contributions they make.

Visit the Youth Agrarian Society fact sheet

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