Written by: Cleofe Torres, College of Development Communication UPLB
“Communication interventions must provide more space and face to women.” This is among the major recommendations of the three regional virtual consultations on ComDev, Community Media and ICTs for family farming held last year.
While women are recognized as main providers of food in the family, communication efforts have not done much in raising awareness about their rights, according to the main thread of discussions. Various cases in Asia and Africa have been presented indicating that women’s access to farm assets, technical services, and even ICTs, is comparatively disadvantaged compared to that of men farmers.
Women’s condition needs to be factored-in in designing ComDev initiatives. Strategies must focus on efforts that would educate communities on the rights of women, devise judicial remedies to protect women, and push for change in attitude towards women. All these could be reflected in terms of the design of farming technologies, policies and rural communication services. Equally important is the need to give space for women’s voices in planning and decision making about farm enterprise.
The three online discussions were facilitated through the FAO-AMARC regional platforms: Onda Rural in Latin America, Yenkasa Africa, and ComDev Asia. The virtual consultations allowed for knowledge sharing and dialogue among rural development actors, in order to advocate for ComDev as an asset for family farming and to set up regional agendas. Participants consisted of development professionals, communication and community media practitioners, civil society organizations, rural development agencies, government representatives, scholars and representatives from private sector. A number of resource persons, academicians and media practitioners also participated in the consultations.
Read the final reports of the virtual consultations