[From OXFAM - GROW CAMPAIGN] Maria Teresa Fernandez, leader of the Coordinator stated that International Day of Rural Women is the only day the world remembers the rural woman, though she brings to the economy, 365 days a year and she is the one that feeds the world.
This year's aim is to continue demanding the 1% budget to implement the Land Fund Act for women. Since the Act was passed two years ago it has not been designated a budget. This year there is one on which tax revenues can be allocated 1%.
Only 18% of rural women in Nicaragua have land, the remaining 82% have to pay rent in advance for the land to produce. Maria Teresa says they are working so that women are recognized as producers. The development of Nicaragua is in the field and women with land rights, technical assistance, inputs, seeds and technology will transform the country.
Maria Teresa said "in March we began to campaign for an item in the budget. We have had no response. We sent letters to all the ministers involved and candidates of political parties. Women feel helpless, because we have no response to our request. You have to benefit those in need: rural women who are in poverty." The rural women leaders have spoken directly with the Minister of Finance who say there is no money. However, the budget continues to benefit the rich in Nicaragua.
Maria Teresa adds "we are not asking for land given away, we will pay for the land. We are 51% of the general population and in rural areas. The share of women deserve a reply, the women will defend their rights! We believe it is a problem of the political will of government. This measure will reduce inequality in the field."
The Coordinator of Rural Women will continue with other actions to achieve response, including actions with the media in systematic, mass mobilizations to pressure, because women demand public policies that benefit them. The Coordinator of Rural Women has made 18 organizations raise the banner of the land fund.
They are part of the Concertación's economic agenda for women. Marlen Haydee Rodriguez, President of the Cooperative Union of Women "The Mists" in Jinotega, reinforces the demand and said "we sought and achieved the Law of the Land Fund 717. We are here to prove that with the little land we have, we guarantee the food security. This land we claim we will pay for, we want our law to become a reality. While we have no land we can not qualify for other government programs and projects, such as credit. "