Women are a driving force for the maintenance, conservation
and development of rural areas, contributing to the agricultural
workforce and the preservation of traditions in the face of a constant
process of depopulation.
Unfortunately, rural women are confronted with major challenges
in the achievement of gender equality, face discrimination in the
enjoyment of their rights and are particularly vulnerable to violence.
This situation might be aggravated by the combined effect of globalisation
and the financial and economic crisis.
The member states of the Council of Europe should devise legal
measures and policy specifically focusing on rural women and incorporate
a gender-sensitive approach in the elaboration and implementation
of policies having an impact on their situation.