Women of the world gathered at the conference “The Role of Women in Mountain Regions”

Thursday, 4 May, 2017 - 10:26

Women from mountain regions all over the world gathered in Alpbach, Austria for the conference “The Role of Women in Mountain Regions” on 18-19 April 2017 to discuss their roles in mountain communities and the changes they want for the future. The economic, ecological, social and cultural challenges faced by women vary by mountain region. However, mountain women do share a common desire: they strive towards a stronger role in their communities.

A step towards achieving this is the Declaration on the Role of Women in Mountain Regions, which was presented at the conference by the Austrian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Andrä Rupprechter. The declaration outlines some recommendations to strengthen the role of women in mountain regions at global level. These include implementing regional, national and global level measures to improve women’s access to labour markets; increasing their representation in relevant forums; developing regional policies for women that consider economic, social and environmental aspects; and disseminating knowledge about the numerous roles of women in mountain areas, among others.

In her keynote speech, Deputy Secretary General of the Alpine Convention Marianna Elmi discussed four main issues, taking inspiration from the programme of the conference: women, culture and knowledge; women and education; women and employment; and women and demographic change. “The experience in the Alps shows us the potential of women, not only looking at tradition but also looking forward to future challenges,” said Elmi. “I would just like to mention two main points of intervention: the need to increase women’s participation and representation, and the need to provide the ideal framework conditions for developing the female professional potential in mountain areas.” She highlighted how the participants’ different backgrounds contributed to very interesting discussions throughout the two-day conference.

This event was organized by the Austrian Presidency of the Alpine Convention.

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