Rural Development Leadership Network

Rural Women at the UN

Rural Women and the Current Financial Crisis

"United Nations Commission on the Status of Women side event"
March 2009, New York City

Panel Papers - Investing in the Natural Infrastructure, Agriculture and Business, Access to Credit and Capital, Advocacy for Changing the Economic System

The Rural Development Leadership Network presented a session on “Rural Women’s Perspective on the Current Financial Crisis” at the Commission on the Status of Women meetings at the United Nations in New York in March.  Marie Cirillo, National Community Land Trust, who lives in Appalachia, stated that protecting the natural environment, including land, is an investment equal in importance to restoring the man-made infrastructure that is emphasized in the economic stimulus package.  Anita LaRan, RDLN Board member and President of the Sangre de Cristo Livestock Growers Association in northern New Mexico, also focused on the importance of land.  Her group is helping small landowners hold onto their property in the face of higher taxes because of second home owners moving into the area.  They are encouraging the landowners to generate income by growing food, preparing a business plan, and joining in cooperatives to share expenses.  Emma Dixon spoke of the need for access to credit and capital and spoke of useful tools like microloan funds.  Shirley McClain noted that women produce more than half of the food in the world.  She suggested that the current crisis may provide an opportunity for creating a more just economic system and called for organizing and advocacy to bring about this change.

Anita LaRan, Marie Cirillo, Emma Dixon

Shirley McClain

Rear: Anita LaRan, Shirley McClain, Joan Lucas Lopez, Emma Dixon
Front: Isabel Lopez, Jing-Yi Song, Ashlyn Marquez

 "Natural resources, which have a longer life span than ours, need to be cared for through the intergenerational passing on of knowledge and responsibility '"- Marie Cirillo

"Farming and Ranching have been a part of the culture of Hispanic and Native Americans in Northern New Mexico for over five hundred years, but for many it has not been considered a business but a survival tool" - Anita LaRan and Isabel Lopez

 "The Louisiana Community Reinvestment Coalition will continue to improve access to credit and capital and prevent predatory lending practices that rob low-income communities of valuable assets." - Emma Dixon

"Rural women must be visible and heard.  Our voices must be loud.  We must be willing to take risks for the financial and social betterment of our families and our sisters everywhere."
- Shirley Williams-McClain

Online article about this session - Rural Women Resilient In The Face Of Crisis

Back to Top
Home | What's New : 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006-07 | Winter 2005| Fall 2005| Summer 2005| Fall 2004| Spring 2003| Fall 2002 | Spring 2001