Rural women across the developing world are often the family breadwinners. They are continually adapting to new farming techniques – in the Andes of Bolivia to the remote mountains of Afghanistan – to ensure their families’ futures are secure.
Rural Women’s Day was set up by the UN to recognise “the critical role and contribution of rural women... enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.”
The 15,000ft llama farmer: Mum-of-two Celestina, 50, checks one of her 40 llamas with husband Filomeno, 45. The animals, which began with a flock of just seven, are a financial lifeline through the sale of wool and meat in the remote Bolivian Altiplano. The couple have built a special house for their ever-expanding flock.
(Picture: Martina Lees, for World Vision)
Money for honey: In a remote almost Tuscan-looking village, Yadha is among a new generation of beekeepers in western Afghanistan. Producing the first honey this area’s ever tasted, Yadha – who earns £12 a kilo from the honey – says: “My children were illiterate but now I can send Nasruddin to school. A prosperous future is waiting for him.”
(Picture: Chris Weeks, World Vision)
Abu with husband Ganesh, and their daughter, are keeping the family afloat with corn grown with the help of “drip irrigation” in rural India. The technique uses a network of pipes to deliver a small amount of water directly to the roots or base of the crop. Abu says: “The increasing income has allowed us to send two of our children to a computer school. Earning money from the village fields has given my children choices.”
(Picture: Kit Shangpliang, World Vision)
Mary Arupe, 30, with one of her six Gala goats. The mother-of-three lives in Turkana County, Kenya – an area affected by the food crisis just over a year ago. The goats provide a new way of making a livelihood.
(Picture: Kenneth Kibet, World Vision)
Some of the 350 women attending baking classes at a shelter in countryside near Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Eight-out-of-ten of the women and girls who attend the shelter have been victims of sexual abuse. They receive psychosocial and emotional help, training in sewing, baking and handicraft making, and learn new farming techniques.
(Picture: Jon Warren, World Vision)
Beekeeping has become the main source of income for more than 100 women in Selenge Province, Mongolia. There was a former bee farm in Selenge which closed due to the democratic revolution in 1989. Although the cost of buying bees is expensive, increasing numbers of women are starting up the venture.
(Picture: Enkhbayar Purevjav, World Vision.)
Fifteen women from the Koch tribe in northern Bangladesh formed a group that weaves and sells saris, sarongs, bed sheets and towels. This new machine has reduced the time to make one sarong from a week to just one day. The women can also make clothes for their own children.
(Picture: Andrew Goodwin, World Vision)
Teofila, 46, lives in Tacopaya, a remote village 3,700m (12,140) high in the Bolivian Andes. Teofila and her husband Damian, 53 (in the background), have a small patch of camomile which they sell for 3 Bolivianos (26p) a bunch at the local market.
(Photo: Si Moore, for World Vision)