The 15th of October is now a globally recognised day that celebrates and empowers women living and working in rural areas. Here are some of the reasons why we find this day so important.
It has been so exciting to see how far female equality is growing in our world, however our rural communities and workplaces are much slower to see these same actions of change. Discrimination against women in rural areas and agriculture is still extremely prominent. Typically, a prejudiced approach to allow women access to resources, credit and market as well as extreme pay inequality.
The United Nations have identified that giving women the same opportunities as men could increase agricultural production in the poorest regions by 2.5-4 percent. In the Agricultural industry, heavy labour and blue-collar work is what keeps this industry alive. The mis-conception of women being unable to complete work in blue-collar workplaces is what needs changing. Giving women the same opportunities as men is why we celebrate those amazing women getting into it and challenging these stereotypes.
Blue-collar jobs have always been typically worked by males. However, over the past decade there has been a noticeable gain in the number of females entering these roles. This extends across many male dominated industries including construction, transport, logistics, and agriculture. We cannot thank our strong, powerful women for biting the bullet and breaking the stigma against workplace inequality.
By breaking this stigma, females lead the way for our younger generations, enabling blue-collar jobs to become a more normal career path to follow as a woman. Hence, why it is so important to have days like these which continue to acknowledge, empower and give thanks to all the women who contribute to the industry in all aspects - from the kitchen to the cattle yards.
On a more local level, Jackie Elliott uses this day to bring women located in regional and remote areas of Australia together for connection and networking events. These aim to celebrate their achievements and contribution to agriculture, as well as provide them with a sense of community. This year there are 4 different events located across rural Victoria and NSW.
These events are not just limited to October 15th, and the organisation is open to suggestions for creating more events to reach a larger number of women across rural Australia. Jackie also runs a podcast called ‘Ducks on The Pond’, that continues to provide rural women with advice for living on the land all year round.
As a big thanks from us here at Ringers Western, we have partnered with Regent Pearls for a giveaway! If you haven't already, click here for your chance to win a pair of unique Australian Pearl earrings.