12 October 2010
To mark the 15th anniversary of the United Nation’s World Rural Women’s Day this week, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, has acknowledged the important contribution rural women make to Australia’s economy and society.
“With rural women comprising more than a quarter of the world’s population, World Rural Women’s Day on 15 October 2010 honours all rural women and recognises their key role in food production and food security,” Minister Ludwig said.
“It is important for us to acknowledge the huge contribution of rural women in Australia to our primary industries and the communities in which they live and work.”
A report produced by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation in 2009 estimates that rural women contribute as much as 49 per cent of the total value of the output that can be attributed to farming families.
“Around 85,000 Australian women are employed in our agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries, and we know there are many others involved in primary industries – through working on the family farm, managing the family finances or carrying out natural resource management activities,” Minister Ludwig said.
“The Gillard Government is working hard to ensure this talent is reflected and recognised within primary industry decision-making.”
“Through the Recognising Women Farmers grants program, the Government has funded more than $3 million in grants designed to build the leadership and representative capacity of rural women. The importance of a balanced voice in this area is a priority for this government.”
This week Minister Ludwig and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mike Kelly, met with the national winner of the 2010 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Women’s Award, Sue Middleton, and runner-up Alana Johnson.
“I would like to take the opportunity to remind our leading rural women the deadline for nominations for the 2011 Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Awards close this Friday. These awards celebrate the talent, leadership and contribution of our rural women,” Dr Kelly said.
Rural women thinking of applying are encouraged to get their applications in to be considered for the 2011 award program. For further information visit www.rirdc.gov.au.