Giving Credit Where It's Due Is Part of Empowering Rural Women

The Women's World Summit Foundation WWSF launched in 1994 the "PRIZE for women's creativity in rural life." which has to-date awarded 375 creative and courageous rural women leaders and organizations in over 100 countries with a cash award of US$ 1000 per laureate.

In spite of all the negative stories in the media these days, of which some are very alarming, there are in the world millions of innovative rural women entrepreneurs who care, give and daily struggle to overcome poverty and hunger in their communities. You can read about them at

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women SW 56th session theme: the Empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges, is a timely reminder and renewed Call to Action to governments, UN entities, civil society organizations and the media to give credit where it's due and begin to transform the way society holds and in particular reports on rural women's contributions to development, food security and peace.

The stories of the 375 prizewinners and their countless acts of service, creativity, courage and innovation are not receiving the deserved share of visibility and recognition in their own country nor in the media. We are regularly proposing to the mainstream media to replace the daily overdose of the three "s" -- sex, scandal and too much sport -- by a more balanced reporting and give some space to the three "c" -- courage, creativity, compassion and cooperation -- which are a great part of humanity's values.

By widening the circle of compassion, we must see beyond the actual media -- and growing violence culture and call forth a more positive way of representing humanity, including rural women and their contributions as leaders, decision makers, food producers, household and family managers, service workers, entrepreneurs, agricultural laborers, to name a few. Their contributions need global recognition and acknowledgement to ensure economic growth and development and to reduce their amount of unpaid work to increase productivity and involvement in remunerative activities.

Ensuring that rural women and all women for that matter are accorded full and equal rights, WWSF is launching at the UN 56 CSW session its 2012 campaign "The numbers must change!" Gender Equality = Progress for Humanity!, which is a call to help change the numbers of inequality between men and women.

To conclude, let us quote Desmond Tutu: "We are each made of goodness, love and compassion. Our lives are transformed as much as the world is when we live these truths."