LESOTHO: International World Food Day and Rural Women’s Day Celebration

World Food Day is an international day celebrated annually on 16 October to commemorate the date of the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945. The International Day of Rural Women, also celebrated on 15 October, focuses attention on the essential role of rural women in producing food and driving rural development. This year’s theme was Rural Women Cultivating Good Food for All. This highlight’s the important role women play in the production of food in their countries and around the world.

Despite the rain, the Rural Women\’s Assembly Lesotho commemorated both days on 16 November. Not even the rain could stop the women from celebrating! The programme started with a poem from one of the women which spoke about the important role of women in food production as they are the one’s who make sure that their children and family has something to eat every day. The poem illustrated the importance of a women, as a mother, doctor and caregiver which are just some of the important work women do in every day life. The poem further raised the concern that even though women do so much their work it is not recognised and they are not paid for it.

The women raised their concerns about the challenges that they are having with farming. The women farmers explained that they are late for summer cropping as there are no farming inputs from the government. Farmers are also faced with the the changing climate conditions such as lots of rain and hail with thunderstorms. The women farmers are not able to go to the fields as the land is covered with water. It appears that the current government is not doing much to address the issue while the women are afraid that they are going to starve with their families this year.

The women displayed their different traditional seeds and their work ranging from producing sauces and canned vegetables. The District Administrator and the Office of the District Agriculture Office attended together with the director of the Rural Self-Help Development Association, who all thanked the women for the hard work they do and promised to work together with them in order to address the challenges that women are facing as farmers.

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