UN Women thanked for its support to rural women in the DRC

Date: Friday, February 21, 2020

Women farmers, breeders, and fisherwomen from DRC Provinces at the National Network of Rural Women’s launch. The network is supported by UN Women. ©Carlos Ngeleka / ONU Femmes
Women farmers, breeders, and fisherwomen from DRC Provinces at the National Network of Rural Women’s launch. The network is supported by UN Women. ©Carlos Ngeleka / ONU Femmes

On the 21st of February 2020, women from 12 provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo celebrated with enthusiasm the launch of the new National Network of Rural Women, supported from the beginning by UN Women as part of the AGRIFED program and its Buy From Women project.

In the DRC, less than 3% women own agricultural land. This movement aims to federate all women’s groups active in agriculture, breeding and fishing from the country's 26 provinces, in order to pool skills and find innovative solutions for their members’ needs, such as, secure and lasting access to land.

Ms Awa Ndiaye Seck, UN Women Representative in the DRC, talking to the new National Network of Rural Women’s members. ©Carlos Ngeleka / ONU Femmes
Ms Awa Ndiaye Seck, UN Women Representative in the DRC, talking to the new National Network of Rural Women’s members. ©Carlos Ngeleka / ONU Femmes

Ms Awa Ndiaye Seck, UN Women Representative in the DRC, congratulated all women present for the efficiency and speed with which they have worked over the past 6 months to accelerate the launch. She urged them to develop their network in the provinces which are not yet represented. Ms Ndiaye Seck also welcomed the newly elected board members. The organisation’s board comprises 5 women from the provinces of Kinshasa, Kwilu and Kongo-Central. All are women farmers, breeders or fisherwomen, they manage between 28 and 3000 hectares each and are also committed to women in their region.

The Representative encouraged the board to immediately initiate a comprehensive database, which brings together all rural women's organizations in the DRC. UN Women, indeed, supports this project, which will make it possible to know more precisely the needs and profiles of rural women in the country.

During the ceremony, Members of the new network expressed their communicative joy by dancing and singing between speeches and showcased examples of fruits and vegetables they produce. Ms Béatrice Lomeya, Minister of State, Minister for Gender, Family, and Children, chaired the event. She said: "the time has come for women’s economic empowerment”, including in agriculture. "It really is as if we are at a new start with this partnership”. The Minister of Agriculture, a representative of the Ministry of Rural Development and the Vice-President of the National Commission of Women Entrepreneurs of Congo, which provides technical support to the Network, also congratulated the women for their work. All honored UN Women’s involvement with women in the DRC and thanked it for its commitment.