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Raising awareness of the importance of upskilling and reskilling women in rural areas


A key part of any project is communicating and disseminating the results to those who will benefit from the outcome of the work. It is why the multi-actor approach can be a very useful tool in research and innovation projects, as it ensures that the key result-users are part of the design and implementation of the project.

Over the first few months of the GAEA project, its promotion, as well as promoting the importance of upskilling and reskilling of the European workforce has been on the Copa-Cogeca agenda.

During the first Copa-Cogeca congress since the covid-pandemic, the women’s committee, which represents women in agriculture at European and EU level, kicked off the conference with a workshop dedicated to the topic of women farming sustainably. The panel discussion heard from three women farmers, each brining a different perspective and background. It highlighted the various different roles undertaken by women active in rural areas whilst underlining opportunities and bottlenecks that still exist. Whilst traditionally agriculture has been a male-dominated sector, many of the multifunctional activities such as agri-tourism, social farming, and direct selling etc, are being driven by women. Ensuring the access to training and lifelong learning in rural areas is crucial towards building the attractiveness of rural areas and could lead to reducing the exodus of young women.

The inspirers initiative was another campaign to raise awareness of the diverse opportunities within the agriculture and rural sector for women. Borrowing the phrase if she can’t see it, she can’t be it, describes why its important to have good examples and share best practices.

The 4-week campaign concluded with an event in the European Parliament and an exchange of views with policy-makers.

The year 2023, will see the skills agenda at the forefront of the European Union having been appointed the European Year of Skills. It underpins the European Union’s commitment to promoting the up-skilling and re-skilling of the European workforce and aims to boost competitiveness, investment in training and skills as well as fostering a culture of life-long learning. It reaffirms the importance of projects like GAEA to supporting rural women in the green and digital transition, and the need to ensure no one is left behind. 

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