The Rural Development Network of North Macedonia (RDN of NM) together with the National Federation of Farmers (NFF), every year organizes an event to mark the International Day of Rural Women – October 15. This year's celebration which was supported by the Swedish Development Organization* We Effect, was just a continuation of last year's event and an opportunity to see the results of the Declaration on Improving the Economic and Social Position of Rural Women which was signed by the RDN of NM, NFF, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the cooperation between the institutions and NGOs.
The event gathered more than 200 representatives of government institutions, civil society organizations from the country and the Balkans, as well as other rural stakeholders. Among the visitors, 13 people from Western Balkan countries, as representatives of the Balkan Rural Development Network (BRDN) participated at this event. Considering that the Western Balkan countries share the history, traditional values and experience similar problems and challenges in rural areas, the idea was to bring representatives of the members of BRDN, in order to share our positive example of recognizing and celebrating the important role of women in rural areas and addressing the inequalities and challenges they are facing.
Within the public discussion on the theme "Ownership of Agricultural Land and Property - Challenge for the Rural Woman”, Marijana Jovovic, as representative of the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Montenegro, shared information about the current and former situation of rural women in Montenegro, which is pretty much the same as to the other Balkan countries. According to the statistics, only 12.9% of holders of family farms in Montenegro are women and 3% of women own agricultural property.
Hopefully, this positive practice will motivate the rest of the BRDN members to initiate activities to mark this important date and to raise the voice of the women in rural areas in their countries.