International Day of Rural Women and World Food Day Event
The United Methodist Women, the NGO Working Group on Food and Hunger at the United Nations (U.N.) convened by Global Policy Forum, and the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders will co-host a series of panel discussions focused on the role of rural women in food security and ending violence against women. This is an opportunity to bring together experts to focus a conversation on rural women, an important group of people that is often invisible or ignored but responsible for critical work. The event is timed to commemorate both the International Day of Rural Women and World Food Day in mid-October. In addition, this event will be a great way for organizations to enter in the dialogue around the priority theme of the U.N.’s 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women: The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges. The event will take place on Friday October 14, 2011, at the Church Center for the United Nations, 777 U.N. Plaza, 2nd floor, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There will be three panel discussions that are divided into two independent parts (morning and afternoon sessions). In the morning, the NGO Working Group on Food and Hunger at the U.N. and the United Methodist Women will organize two panel discussions on rural women and food security. The rationale behind the design of the morning session is to have panelists discuss the various dimensions of food security—from grass-roots and national success stories to the behind-the-scenes work on international food security policy—so that participants have a more full understanding of how to effectively participate in, advocate for, and educate about food security, especially as it relates to rural women.
In the first panel, speakers will share case studies of successful national food security strategies that recognize the current role of rural women as food producers and that seek to empower and enhance that role to achieve food security. In addition, the importance of nutrition in food security strategies, with a focus on the special nutritional needs of women, will be addressed.
In the second panel, speakers will discuss the formation of global food security policy at the U.N., how food policy impacts the experience of rural women, and how the experience of rural women can be brought to bear on food security policy. Panelists will discuss global economic policy and its effect on national food security strategies, the process of policy formation within the U.N. system, and the prospects for rural women to be active participant-stakeholders in the formation of food policy.
In the afternoon, the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders and the United Methodist Women will organize a panel discussion on violence against women with particular attention to rural women. The discussion will open with a review of global normative frameworks on violence against women, followed by thematic topics as they relate to the experience of rural women (sexual violence in conflict, domestic violence, culture and tradition’s impact on violence against women, and trafficking). This session will be made dynamic through the use of performance and opportunities for participation.