Tunisia: Prime Minister Chahed devotes 3.2 million dinars among other reforms to empower rural women

  • October 29, 2018

Prime Minister of Tunisia, H.E. Youssef Chahed, recently ordered an increase in the budget of the agricultural sector development fund by devoting 3.2 million dinars on a line of financing essentially female professional structures. This will be in addition to the establishment of a guarantee line and bonuses for credits for women in rural areas and the financing of projects launched in the field of the social and solidarity economy.

The Premier made this announcement during his participation in a national seminar on rural women organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries on the occasion of the celebration of World Rural Women’s Day on October 15.

The Prime Minister pointed out that in order to give women the production means, the ministerial circular on subdivisions of young farmers on agricultural state lands will be amended to devote not less than 20% to the rural woman and equip the agricultural training center in addition to the acquisition of 3 itinerant pedagogical units to bring the diploma training closer together and open up the prospects for bank financing.

Besides, Youssef Chahed instituted a National Rural Women’s Week which will be an event to bring together the efforts of all parties and bridge the gap between rural women and other social groups in addition to creating an institutional structure in rural areas in the Regional Commissions for Agricultural Development to promote the conditions of rural women who have a strategic role in achieving food security and protecting rural areas.

The Prime Minister pointed out that rural women represent 32.4% of the female population and half of them (50.2%) have an important economic role, indicating that the agricultural sector employs about half a million of women.

He also pointed out that rural women are still exposed to all forms of discrimination and have difficulties in accessing the means of production, mainly land, noting that women represent only 4 or 5% of the total population owners of agricultural land which negatively affects the rate of granting bank loans to women in the absence of guarantees.

Chahed emphasised that achieving sustainable development in rural areas requires empowering women and building their skills.

Additionally, he said that the government is working to improve infrastructure in rural areas and to allocate the necessary budget, in the context of positive discrimination.

He said that the social and solidarity economy remains among the most effective means of sustainable development, underlining that a change in the development model can create an economic and social dynamic that will have a positive impact on citizens in the interior regions.

In this connection, Chahed emphasised that the agriculture and fisheries sector is one of the sectors most concerned by the development of the social and solidarity economy, believing that its structures contribute to improving the incomes of farmers, the fisherman and citizens in rural areas through appropriate activities of the social and solidarity economy.

Chahed stressed that the change of the development model and the development of the social and solidarity economy are imperative through the involvement of all stakeholders (government institutions, national and international partners and civil society) observing that the institutions of the State are called to open more on the civil society in particular in the study and the achievement of projects.

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