Rights for rural women

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“Sowing the seeds of equality leads to a balanced crop”

Thursday October 13th was International Day of Rural Women and here in Adeje there was a well-attended conference on the role of women in rural life in Tenerife, with a parallel conference having also taken place earlier in the same week in La Guancha in the north of the island.

This, the VIII Meeting of Rural Women of Tenerife, organised by the Cabildo Agricultural and Rural Development division and the Adeje council, was under the slogan (translated) “sowing the seeds of equality leads to a balanced crop”, and was attended by over 100 women working in the agricultural sector.

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The day began at 10am with a visit to the Montesdeoca Dairy. This enterprise is run by Ángeles García and has won numerous awards nationally and internationally for the quality and variety of their produce – cheeses, butter, goat´s milk yogurts, and wines, among other goods. During the visit the women were also invited to sample some of the produce.

The day continued with presentations at the CDTCA (the Costa Adeje Tourism Development Centre) from the Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and the Tenerife Cabildo agricultural councillor, both of them stressing “the importance of women in this sector in the Canaries and in Tenerife in particular”.

The mayor continued, “Women have always been the motor of our society. On their shoulders has fallen the responsibility of caring for the family, the home, and more, and under unequal conditions. In the world of agriculture women have also suffered discrimination and for that reason I want to underline how important and vital their contribution is.”

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The Cabildo’s Jesús Morales said that with this project “we want to guarantee fundamental equal opportunities for women, and establish open forums, where there can be an exchange of ideas, given the low visibility women have had in the agricultural sector up to now.” He added that it was important to increase awareness generally of the work that women do in the farming and agricultural sectors.

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A manifesto on behalf of rural women was read into the records, and among the demands was a call for better public initiatives favouring rural enterprise as well as technological innovation in the sector. Participants also welcomed the development at regional level of the law of shared titles, (Ley de Titularidad Compartida) which was working directly to given legal representation to women as partners in agricultural endeavours.