San José del Guaviare, 2021. As part of the Norway-GGGI-Colombia Green Growth Program Phase II, GGGI and the Government of Guaviare marked International Rural Women’s Day with the second edition of the event “Guaviare Es Mujer Rural” – Guaviare for Rural Women – a space created to recognize and empower rural women by highlighting their important role in agricultural and rural development, environmental protection, and the economic reactivation of the department.
The rural sector of Guaviare has been affected by a social and political conflict that has led to a population with low economic resources and a precarious quality of life. In this context, rural women represent the backbone of many communities with their work, but they continue to face obstacles that prevent them from developing their full potential.
To help to solve this issue, the Government of Guaviare within its Development Plan “Solutions at your Service”, in coordination with the Departmental Government Secretariat from the Family Program alongside the Women’s and Gender Office, and with the support of GGGI from its Green Growth program with Norway, it has been working since 2020 on strengthening opportunities related to green growth and entrepreneurship of women’s organizations, as a tool to enhance joint work and capacities for local supply and the implementation of sustainable businesses.
Angie Rincón, the Social Manager of Guaviare, opened this space by highlighting the leadership skills of the women of the department, and praised the commitment of the 40 participating women to continue preparing to strengthen their associations and enterprises. Pablo Martínez, GGGI’s Country Representative, emphasized the importance of capacity building for women in the region to achieve the government’s goal in sustainable productive consolidation. “From GGGI we will continue accompanying you in this process, as well as supporting the Government of Guaviare in the development of activities that lead to achieve its deforestation control goals and of sustainable development, where rural women are protagonists”, added Pablo.
At the core of the event was the presentation of the women’s associations of the municipalities of El Retorno, Calamar and San José del Guaviare, where the audience learned about their work with the communities and their respective enterprises. It also included the closing of the course “Finances, Basic Concepts for your Business”, in which 40 women belonging to 20+ associations and enterprises were certified. They completed this course with great effort due to the limited connectivity in their towns, while attending their regular responsibilities at the same time.
Additionally, the honored women participated in talks on gender, peace, finance, and entrepreneurship, with learning given on funding offers, projects and programs available from organizations and entities that work within the Department such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Finagro, ADR, Bancoldex, Secretariat of Agricultural Development and the Environment, and ONF ANDINA. As part of GGGI’s offer, Juan Pablo Bustamante – Senior Officer at GGGI Colombia, presented the Greenpreneurs Colombia program, an initiative that provides the necessary resources for local entrepreneurs to have the adequate capacities to scale their green businesses. He highlighted the importance of rural women for forest conservation and invited them to participate on next year’s call: “the future of the forest is in your hands, and we want to give you the tools to generate and materialize all the potential that exists in the region.”
Find here the full event. (Available only in Spanish)