Hogan encourages EU states to tackle issues affecting rural women

The EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, has encouraged member states to take advantage of the new Common Agricultural Policy’s (CAP’s) flexibility to tackle issues related to rural women.

Speaking ahead of International Women’s Day which is taking place today, Friday, March 8, Commissioner Hogan also outlined that there are already some policy tools in place to drive change in this area; however, he points out that not all member states use them.

In a special message to mark International Women’s Day, Commissioner Hogan issued the above video where he said: “Women have always been the centre of everything good and positive in our communities. You are indeed vital to our family farms and local associations.

“In voluntary groups, in municipal councils, in co-operatives and of course you are responsible for a growing number of great disruptive projects that benefit the development of our rural areas – whether that is in the field of business and innovation or in the field of education and culture.

So this is a strong and positive message worth repeating and celebrating.

Meanwhile, in an interview with EURACTIV, the commissioner also explained that in the commission’s proposal for the CAP after 2020, member states will have “increased flexibility” to address the specific needs of rural women in their national CAP Strategic Plans.

“I would strongly encourage them to do so,” said the commissioner.

According to EURACTIV, the position of women farmers has become a central focus when it comes to the future of EU farming.

The European media platform also outlined that EU stakeholders are “pushing for an increased role for women farmers, saying that they can have a positive impact on innovation and other relevant sectors such as agro-tourism”.

Access to Credit

However, the publication highlighted that “several challenges” lie ahead – ranging from “lack of access to credit and gender equality to poor rural infrastructure”.

My services play an active role in several Inter Service Groups within the commission to ensure that other EU funds sufficiently target rural women’s specific challenges.

“The idea is to ‘rural proof’ gender equality interventions across the board,” Commissioner Hogan told EURACTIV.