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Time is Now

March 07, 2018

Time is Now

Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. The theme for 2018 is  “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”, echoing the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, International Women’s Day which will also draw attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population and majority of the 43 per cent of women in the global agricultural labour force. They till the lands and plant seeds to feed nations, ensure food security for their communities and build climate resilience. Yet, on almost every measure of development, because of deep seated gender inequalities and discrimination, rural women fare worse than rural men or urban women. For instance, less than 20 per cent of landholders worldwide are women, and while the global pay gap between men and women stand at 23 per cent, in rural areas, it can be as high as 40 per cent. They lack infrastructure and services, decent work and social protection, and are left more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
I took this photo while visiting an island in the middle of the River Niger near Mopti, Mali.  Everywhere I travel in Africa, women are always working to support their families and communities.