This October, women in Cameroon joined other women world wide in carrying out activities to venerate the rural woman. During the week dedicated for these activities, I did some interviews for my program ‘Feminine World’, during which a thought was ignited in my mind: who is a rural woman? In other words, are all rural women illiterate farmers? Or are farmers who reside in cities rural women per se.
Agriculture is the mainstay of every human society. In developing countries, the practice of subsistence farming is still to replace mechanized and industrialized farming. The champs of farming are the women who happen to reside mostly in the villages with inadequate health care, fewer opportunities for higher education and other advantages.
While doing a vox pop, I was asking each respondent the question ‘are you a rural woman or an urban woman and why? From their responses, I noticed that the public might be having a wrong notion of who a rural woman really is. Apart from failing to see the contributions rural women make in putting food on the table for city dwellers, some people (including women) think to be called a rural woman is an insult. In fact a woman could easily take offense if she were referred to as a rural woman even if she met the criteria defining one.
Are literate women who reside in villages rural women or not? Are illiterate women who reside in cities rural women or not? Do I need some lessons here people?