RUTH SHANKS: THE WORLD PRESIDENT OF ASSOCIATED COUNTRY WOMEN OF THE WORLD
Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) is one of the largest international women’s organisations. It was established in 1933 for the sake of developing relations among all the country women associations. As of today, ACWW promotes experience exchange in the field of empowering rural women around the globe.
Ruth Shanks, ACWW World President, supposes: “Many women from regional areas don’t get to see what impact they have world-wide”. According to her, “an amazing part of the job” she does is meeting women farmers from different countries. Throughout such visits, Ms. Shanks elaborates on the importance of women’s activity and their mutual support. Thus, in her opinion, complete and reliable information motivates rural women to work and help each other. In such context, it is necessary to understand what problems do country women face and in what regions.
Within her tour around South Australia, Ruth Shanks visited local ACWW groups. She has been gathering information on regional women’s status to understand “what needs to be done”. As there has been no corresponding data so far, Ms. Shanks is “aiming to change that”. Ruth Shanks will be attending the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum. Its agenda includes supporting women’s rural organisations. Ms. Shanks will tell about her achievements as ACWW World President, various positive practices, and ACWW participating in the rural projects of the World Food Programme.
In modern times, 25% of economically active women are working in agriculture. Over 9 million women from 70 countries participate in the activity of 460 organisations under ACWW. The Association has the UN consultative status. Associated Country Women of the World organisation provides grant support for its groups around the world. Over 900 affiliated organisations over the world got such grants since 1977. ACWW creates necessary conditions for women to study home economics and promotes social sphere and civil society development within rural communities. The Association also publishes The Country Woman Journal and sends it to all the groups.
In 2007, Ms. Shanks was appointed the ACWW South Pacific Area President. While taking that position, she visited ACWW groups in Papua New Guinea, East Timor, The Kingdom of Tonga, and Tuvalu. Ruth Shanks became the ACWW World President in 2013. Before participating in the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum in St. Petersburg, she will address the July meeting of CWA group in Canowindra, Australia. It is important for Ms. Shanks to have the insight into the life of Australian women, as it is her motherland.
Tina Stankevich, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Boykov