4th World Congress of Rural Women

23 to 26 April 2007

International Convention Centre
, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

South Africa, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Affairs will host the 4th World Congress of Rural Women at the International Convention Centre in Durban from 23 to 26 April, 2007. The congress will be preceded by an African Consultation of Rural Women that will be held at the same venue from 19 to 21 April, 2007. Similarly, other regions are encouraged to hold regional consultations prior to the congress.

The World Congress of Rural Women is an international gathering of rural women, which occurs at four-year intervals. The congress has been hosted previously by Australia in 1994, the USA in 1998 and Spain in 2002. The hosting of the Fourth World Congress of Rural Women by Africa was informed by the resolutions of the 2002 Congress held in Spain, when Ms Graca Machel received a ceremonial bowl, marking acceptance for South Africa to host the Fourth World Congress on behalf of Africa.

The aim of the congress is to discuss universal and wide-ranging issues confronting rural women today and to share concrete experiences of successes in addressing these worldwide. These include: globalisation; trade; sustainable development (social, economic and environment); gender equality; food security and related issues of access to land, water, finance, new technologies, transport and roads; rural housing, women’s health, governance and the impact of public policies on rural women.

Since its inception, discussions in these fora have provided a global perspective on issues confronting women in the world’s rural areas. The theme of this upcoming congress is United in our diversity: Working together towards the total emancipation of rural women from poverty and hunger.

About 2 000 local and international delegates are expected to participate in the congress. Delegates will be drawn from rural women themselves, government, civil society, international and intergovernmental organisations, nongovernmental organisations and community-based organisations.

In South Africa, representation will be organised under the umbrella body f Women in Agriculture and Rural Development (WARD), which was launched on 15 October 2006. In addition, other rural women formations from all sectors will participate.

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Department of Agriculture
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Department of Land Affairs
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