THE HON JOEL FITZGIBBON MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR RURAL AFFAIRS
SPOKESPERSON FOR COUNTRY CAUCUS
MEMBER FOR HUNTER
SENATOR CLAIRE MOORE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CARERS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES
SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF RURAL WOMEN
Federal Labor welcomes today the United Nations' declared International Day of Rural Women.
The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on October 15, 2008 to recognise the role of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.
The International Day of Rural Women reminds Australia that we need to do our fair share to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect the environment and address climate change - as highlighted by the United National's Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon's comment that 'rural women are critical to the success of almost all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals'.
Rural women play an extraordinary role in delivering changes to social, economic and environment sustainable development.
The contribution women make to agriculture and local communities often goes unrecognised and there is a need for more encouragement, support and empowerment including increasing women's membership on boards. And, as the national RIRDC Rural Women's Award demonstrates, there are many rural women that are effecting change and influence through their leadership.
However rural women continue to face specific challenges due to their location which includes limited access to health care and social support services as well as educational and training opportunities.
The National Rural Health Alliance's goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of the more than 6.7 million people in rural and remote Australia through 37 national organisations and it has released research that shows 'rural women have poorer health and worse access to health services than those in cities'.
Women in rural and remote areas may also find it harder to seek help or leave a violent relationship and often face limited access to support services due to their remote location.
This has further been compounded by the Government's $270 million cuts to community services that offer emergency accommodation, financial counselling and parenting support services.
Rural women are vital contributors to our national and international strength and deserve our acknowledgement today, this 2015 International Day of Rural Women.
THURSDAY, 15 OCTOBER 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: NATASHA SIKMAN 0467 550 065 (FITZGIBBON)
MEREDITH HORNE 0408 599 800 (MOORE)