''Socio–economic strengthening of the position of rural women through active participation in the local development plans''

With a view to contribute to the strengthening of the role of civil society in the promoting of human rights and democratic reforms in BiH in the field of gender equality and strengthening of women's role, VESTA Association from Tuzla is implementing the project „Socio-economic strengthening of the position of rural women through active participation in the local development plans.“ The project is implemented with the support of the US Government's Special Fund aimed at strengthening of the position of women, through the US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Key groups of activities that Vesta Association is implementing within this prij

ect are focused on:

- Analysis of the status and needs of women in rural communities and building their capacities in the decision making process and preparation of development plans.

-Presentation of overview of the position and needs of rural women to the representatives of local and cantonal gender equality commissions, and initiating their greater involvement and focus on the needs of women in rural communities, in the decision making process and the making of development plans and policies.

-Promotion of the role of a woman in rural communities in the process of local community development and the overall development of society, as well as the need to improve her status and position.

Project's target groups:

- 450 women in rural communities in 15 local communities

-Gender Equality Commissions in Federation BiH at municipal and cantonal level

The project will be implemented in Federation BiH in the period October 2011 – October 2012.

Vesta – for the rights of rural women!

Reasons why !!!

The key acter that survival, revival of rural communities and rural development depend upon is a woman. This is why a woman needs to have a central place in the affirmation of importance of rural communities and quality of live in villages. Although women contribute most to the rural development as a whole, their position and the problems that they are facing, from basic needs to long term interests within an overall development, still remain at the margins of agendas in the processes and policies, from the state, to entity, to local level.

Women in the rural communities in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are in a more unenviable position than men; access to resources and support services is very limited, property is mainly owned by men; women's voice is fairly week in the social and political theatre, as well as their participation in the decision making processes.

Rural communities with all their specificities, relations and traditionally prevailing stereotypes, that affect the lives of women and men, require special attention of decision makers at senior government levels.

If we wish to build a society based on equality, it is very important that the local and other government levels take into account the gender perspective when preparing strategies and policies. Woman in a rural community has multiple roles – to contribute to the welfare of her community, development of village and rural economy, organising of rural community and rural entrepreneurship. Removing gender inequality is not merely a moral and legal right of a rural woman, but a precondition for socio-economic development and growth.

Therefore, we are calling on the local and regional authorities to take a systematic approach in removing stereotypes and limitations that form the basis for inequality in terms of role, status and the position of rural women in the politicial, socio-economic and cultural context. A special Article of the UN CEDAW Convention on annullment of all forms of discrimination against women refers to the improvement of the position of women in rural communities. As a party to this Convention, BiH is obliged to work on the promoting of socio-economic situation of rural women, their access to resources, market and information, and access to basic infrastrucure and public services.