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GFSRD advocates for Gender Equality in Rural Areas


Gender equality is crucial in rural areas because it affects the well-being and livelihoods of individuals, families, and communities. It is important for promoting economic development, improving health outcomes, promoting education, ensuring human rights, and promoting social development in rural areas. By empowering women and promoting gender equality, we can create more equitable and sustainable communities.

Global Forum for Sustainable Rural Development (GFSRD) organised the online Global Conference on Localising Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a theme on SDG 5 (Gender Equality) in collaboration with 13 Organisation/institutions across the globe. Total 24 speakers from 14 countries presented their views on different aspects of Gender equality in their respective countries. 


Ayamori Matsuura, Gender Specialist, ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team (DWT), South Asia, New Delhi joined as Guest of Honour. She highlighted various challenges faced by women and how ILO is ensuring women’s contribution in advancing gender equality.  



Meenakshi Datta Ghosh, IAS (Retd), India, Vice President, GFSRD & Former Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Former Special Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India gave the inaugural speech as Chief Guest. Smt. Ghosh mentioned that gender gap is in favour of male. She mentioned various schemes and programmes over the periods which reducing gender gap and bringing gender equality.

Dr. K. Ramesh Kumar, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics and Rural Development, Alagappa University, India presented his paper on ‘Effects of Covid - 19 Pandemic on the Employment, Wage and Gender Equality in India’ while Dr. Parveen Kumar, SCIENTIST (AG. EXTENSION), SKUAST-KASHMIR talked on ‘Gender Issues in Agriculture’.

Mrs. Debbie Williams Campbell, ICARE Sustainably International, Trinidad and Tobago Youth Empowerment, an Effective but Challenging Solution for Gender Equality: Mentoring, educating and protecting our young advocates

Prof. Vandana Panwar, Associate Professor- PGDM-Rural Management (Emerging Economies), Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research, Mumbai spoke on ‘Role of SHGs in women empowerment’ while Dr. Vidyanath  Jha,  Rtd  Professor of  Botany, in Mithila University Darbhanga showed the opportunity of  ‘Raising Makhana production as a national endeavour-a gender  perspective’.


Belmost Ongom, Monitoring and Evaluation Expert, Woord en daad from Uganda, addressed on ‘Gender equality-key to achieving sustainable rural development; focus on SDG 1,2,3’

Tajmary Akhter, Programme Manager- Gender and Social Equity, HELVETAS Bangladesh stressed on ‘Gender Equality - walk on the unowned path’ while Fouzia Nasreen Sultana, Joint Director, Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), Cumilla presented  on ‘Implementation of SDGs-5 in Bangladesh’

Dr. Nikki De Pina, Founder & Chief Executive, Global Peace Let’s Talk, United Kingdom, talked on ‘Fire Within’ women in the world.


Muhammed Trawally, Country Director for Gambia at the Institute of International Peace Leaders, Gambia discussed on ‘Gender Issues and Peace Development’ . ‘Empowered women and girls invest in their families’ was shared by Fredrick Moreli Juma, Director, Action Plan for Community development CBO (APCoD), Kenya.

Fatmata Ballu Samura, Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Government of Sierra Leone, MAGELYN  G.  GOZE, Teacher Philippines, Dr. Janice Da Silva, Former UN Head of Programs, Executive Development Coach and Founder, ODOS ENGAGE shared status and initiatives towards gender equality in Siera Leone, Philippines and Cabo Verde respectively.

Dr. Anuradha Palla, Assistant Professor, CWEL, NIRDPR, India delivered her informative speech on ‘Gender mainstreaming under MGNREGA – the largest wage employment programme in the world and Prof. Polly Vauquline, Professor, Department of Women’s Studies,  Gauhati University, Assam, India  presented ‘Status of SDG Goal 5 and North East India’.

Dr. Priyabrata Mukherjee, College Teacher, Department of Environmental Science, Nistarini College, Purulia, India deliberated on ‘Climate Smart Women’. Sathyavani Gandham, Panchayat Secretary & National Level Trainer, Panchayat Raj & Rural Development Department, Andhra Pradesh, India portrayed ‘Gender Issues in Local Government’.


Samira Ahmed Al Mamari, Senior Lecturer, College of Economics and Business Administration, University of Technology and Applied Sciences, Oman; Ar. Mustapha Kamal Zulkarnain, Arkitek Mustapha Kamal, Malaysia and Manusha Paudel, Assistant Professor, Department of Population Studies, Tribhuvan University, Nepal shared status and initiatives towards gender equality in Oman, Malaysia and Nepal respectively.


Mansi Sharma, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Gandhian and Peace Studies, Panjab University and International Mediator and Laywer, Board Member, GPLT, UK analysed ‘Feminism from the Gandhian Lens’.


Dr. Jayanta Choudhury, Founder, GFSRD moderators the conference and Dr. Helen Sekar, India, Senior Fellow, V.V. Giri National labour Institute, India put the vote of thanks.

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