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Rural Women Drive the Green Economy

Every country on the planet seems to be committed to a green economy. Rural women could be the key to improving the ecosystem.

The Woman Post | Ariel Cipolla

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The green economy is one of the keys for improving the future of the ecosystem, but also for achieving major boosts in strategic productive sectors. The United Nations Environment Program defines this activity as one that improves human and social well-being while reducing environmental risks.

UNEP itself indicated that, if 2% of the world's GDP were allocated to green transformation by 2050, it would generate more employment than the usual economy, in addition to a large number of social and environmental benefits. In other words, the idea is that human progress can be associated with care for the planet.

This approach relies on the constant development of new ways of working that are more efficient in economic terms, but that can also minimize the negative impact on the Earth. In this regard, rural women around the globe can play a key role in determining the success of this ecological orientation.

Rural Women and the Green Economy

First, it is necessary to understand how the productivity system works in rural areas. In this case, both men and women carry out activities that allow them to earn profits from working on the land. However, there are substantial differences that may be due to the gender gap that exists in the fields.

It's common for most of the wage labor and the cultivation of food for sale to be carried out by men. Women, on the other hand, tend to grow food for personal consumption while caring for their families. Hence, there is a great untapped potential for women in a green economy.

Although they are responsible for ensuring the maintenance of biodiversity, the fight against climate change, and the generation of food for local proportions, they are not always paid accordingly. In other words, they need to become salaried workers and even entrepreneurs who are committed to the green economy.

Some of this has been done in Spain, one of the countries that are most committed to the green economy and the integration of women into the system. Through the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO), it began to launch calls to hire unemployed women to work in different sustainable tasks.

For example, water purification, cultivation of species necessary for the local economy, or investment in nature restoration. All these activities contribute to a better quality of life in the country, but also represent great business opportunities for a sector that is still underutilized.

Also read: THE FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN THE LABOR FORCE

Societies in Asia and the Pacific could benefit enormously from this change. They should realize that rural women can create jobs and mitigate climate crises by fostering the entrepreneurial spirit of each of them. At present, the system is not designed for them, as in some countries, such as Bangladesh, they do not have access to renewable energy.

In other words, this type of energy is in places where men have historically worked, which means that women only take care of household chores. If governments were to generate policies with a gender perspective, women could begin to insert themselves in this labor area and attract new investments, without the need to work in the informal sector.

For that, other changes need to be implemented on a social scale. One of them lies in digital knowledge. Some countries, such as India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, are using digital platforms to produce eco-friendly energy on a small scale and understand how markets work, which would also serve to improve poverty-stricken regions.

The same is true for access to the financial system. If women continue to work in conditions similar to those of centuries ago, it is difficult for them to obtain investments and white jobs. This would allow them to access credit that would allow them to generate a personal enterprise based on the green economy.

On the other hand, the green economy needs rural women to start having equal rights. If they had formal rights, they would be in the same capacity as men to do wage labor on the land and not just produce food for personal consumption.

Finally, rural women seeking to work in the green economy must understand the political system and raise their voices for better representation. If they become aware of the importance of rural work, they could surely contribute to the growth of the world economy and care for the environment.

The green economy will be one of the keys to economic growth and environmental recovery in the coming years. Rural women, historically, have made great contributions to rural work, but their conditions need to improve so that we can see the results on the planet. The future depends on it!