The efforts gave results: Improved conditions for rural women in North Macedonia

Zivka Gjurcinovska is a farmer and member of National Federation of Farmers. Photographer: Blagojce Najdovski

As a result of years of intensive advocacy work by We Effect’s partner organisation in North Macedonia, policy changes have been made at national level, which will improve the conditions for women in rural areas.

In North Macedonia, rural women are marginalized and there is an uneven distribution of income and resources.

The idea was that the National Strategy on Agriculture and Rural Development, adopted in 2014, would change this. But the measure that would recognize the unpaid work of rural women and subsidize up to 70% of minimum gross salary turned out to have discriminatory criteria and not all women benefited.

With the support of We Effect, National Federation of Farmers has worked to change the policies and guidelines, and to ensure women’s socio-economic rights.

Long-term work has proven successful

The Government of North Macedonia is now announcing that changes will be made to the National Strategy on Agriculture and Rural Development in regards to anti-discrimination of women and minority groups in rural areas. The changes are fully in line with what We Effect and the National Federation of Farmers have proposed.

With the new guidelines, rural women will receive support from the state and be able to do direct investments in agriculture activities, which will enable them to register as farmers. This will allow them to secure a decent salary, social security and pensions for themselves in the future.

– This is a turning point for rural women in North Macedonia. In all countries where We Effect is operating, we are supporting our partner organisations to advocate for important issues that can change the conditions for people. I am incredibly proud that we have been able to contribute to this change in North Macedonia, says Anneli Leina, Regional Director for We Effect in Europe.

– We believe that this is a great advocacy example and that the policy changes will enable social and economic strengthening of rural women. We will continue to ensure that rural women are not forgotten and that their rights are recognized and protected, says Vaska Mojsovska, president of the National Federation of Farmers, and a farmer herself.

For more information, please contact Anneli Leina, Regional Director We Effect Europe: +38970300307