I am pleased to be writing to you at this time when so many are facing worry, fear, and even panic around what feels like a situation totally out of our control. However, we must remember that remaining calm and focused on sensible precautions will help protect us all. ACWW first passed a resolution on immunisation programmes in 1980, and called for vaccination against potentially eradicable diseases as recently as 2016. Global investment in vaccine programmes would go a long way to eradicating the impact of novel viral infections. Our commitment to the World Health Organization must go beyond the verbal, and we must do our best to keep our communities strong and safe by following WHO advice on hand sanitation and social distancing as the best form of defence against Covid-19 (Coronavirus). We must also ensure those most vulnerable in our communities are cared for, and avoid hoarding or panic-buying provisions that cause undue strain on food and distribution chains. Remember that 80% of the world’s food is produced by rural communities, and we must do our best to remain centred and calm in this trying time. These communities require sensible health provision all year round, and for all conditions, not just a virus outbreak benefiting from press coverage.
Sadly, because of new government advice in the UK, ACWW’s Central Office will be closed from this afternoon. Our staff are doing their best to establish what work they can do from home (whilst ensuring we continue to protect the personal data of our members and comply with the law!), and we hope to have provisions in place in the next few days to make this more effective. Please bear with us, everyone is doing their best in this difficult time.
When considering your meetings, gatherings, and events such as Women Walk the World, please be aware of official advice relevant to your location and nation. Please rely on this official advice, rather than some of the nonsense being spread on social media.
I send you all my very best wishes, and my hopes for your safety, comfort, and good health. You are always welcome to contact me and Central Office (all email addresses will be checked regularly, even if there is a little delay in responses).
Magdie de Kock17 March 2020
The Associated Country Women of the World exists to amplify the voices of rural women, so that the problems they face and the solutions they raise are heard and acknowledged by international policy-makers and legislators. Rural women are the backbone of families, of communities, of nations, but they are often a silent support, adapting to change and tragedy with comparative ease. They bear the burden of conflict, they go unheard in legislation, and they remain unprotected and unsupported. ACWW exists to change that.
Available to order in printed or digital download format, click here to get your new Rural Women in Action Pack!
Due to the current Covid-19 Pandemic, several Area Conferences have been postponed. Please check back regularly for more information.
Please take part in ACWW's survey efforts to collect data on the impact of Coronavirus and Covid-19 on rural women and their communities.
Rural Women are uniquely placed to challenge the global issue of Rabies, and we are pleased to offer free specialist training.
I cordially invite our members and visitors to use this website as a reference and a reliable source of information. You will find you can easily navigate it to meet the Board of ACWW, get acquainted with the work of our organisation, our involvement with the United Nations and reports on small-scale developments projects through which the lives of rural women and children are changed for the better.
We are pleased that this new website offers members the chance to connect their local activities with international platforms for advocacy and action, the exchange of knowledge and best practice. This Triennium, we have adopted the theme 'Our Diversity is Our Strength', and I am pleased to welcome you to join us.
We are, and will continue to be, Rural Women in Action.