Invaluable contribution of rural women to sustainability

The crucial role that women and girls play in ensuring the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and overall wellbeing, has been increasingly recognized globally. Women on Wings was already convinced at its establishment in 2007.

Rural women are key
According to the United Nations, women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labor force, including informal work, and perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within families and households in rural areas. They make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience.

Essential for better future for all
Even so, women and girls in rural areas suffer disproportionately from multi-dimensional poverty. While extreme poverty has declined globally, the world’s 1 billion people who continue to live in unacceptable conditions of poverty are heavily concentrated in rural areas. “The empowerment of rural women and girls is essential to building a prosperous, equitable and peaceful future for all on a healthy planet,” says UN Secretary-General, António Guterres on UN’s website.

Rural economic development
Women on Wings’ mission is to take families in rural India out of poverty through economic development. When rural women have control over the household money, this has positive impact on the overall well-being of the family. Women will spend their income on their families. Children can go to school, which increases their chances of a better future. It is the way to break the cycle of poverty according to the World Bank.

Investing in rural women
Women on Wings provides business consultancy and mentoring to social entrepreneurs who employ women in rural India. Volunteer experts offer their time and talent in e.g. marketing, finance, product development, production, retail and supply chain management to the Women on Wings business partners in India. In FY 2018-2019, its 54 experts plus its team spent over 19,163 hours, or 2,395 working days, supporting the growth of 37 business partners in India. As a result, 26,100 jobs for women in rural India have been co-created, totaling to 266,400 in 11 years. This means that 266,400 women are empowered thanks to their income which also increases their self-esteem and pride.

Source: United Nations
Picture: Pankaj Kumar