Equal Rights – Equal Responsibilities

Parallel event organised by IAW

Rural women’s empowerment – Strategies and challenges of women’s NGOs
The case of South-Africa and India


Sizani Ngubane, founder of Rural Women’s Movement of South Africa and NGO CSW Forum Woman of Distinction Awardee 2018

Rakesh Dhawan, President of All India women’s Conference

Bhavna Joshipura All Inia Women’s Conference

Jyotsna Kapur, All India Women’s Conference

The panel will be looking into the obstacles women and girls face in rural areas in order to exercise their human rights and successful ways to overcome those obstacles.

Because of gender discrimination, gender stereotypes and deep-rooted social norms, rural women are denied equal access to opportunities, resources, assets, and services.

We will also be looking into the challenges women’s NGOs face in their efforts to empower rural women and their successes.
In our discussion, we will refer to initiatives and programs implemented by women’s NGOs that cover a number of the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Development Agenda and examine obstacles encountered and progress achieved in their fulfilment.

We will also look into CEDAW and other treaties’ obligations and whether they have been met by States.

In particular, we will be discussing:

  • The behaviour of traditional leaders in South-Africa who do not allocate land to women and girls in their own rights and what the State and NGOs is doing
  • The economic, physical and psychological violence that rural women experience and strategies of women’s NGOs to combat these forms of violence
  • Strategies of women’s NGOs to empower rural women to become leaders and decision makers, in particular concerning local policies
  • Strategies of women’s NGOs to fight poverty, malnutrition, and to give equal access to rural women to education, health, drinking water, information, agricultural and non-agricultural employment, new technologies, markets, and to enhance their role as agents of change