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‘Still I Rise’ — UN agency launches film tribute to rural women and girls featuring Maya Angelou

ROMEOct. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — A powerful short film featuring acclaimed poet Maya Angelou was launched today by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on the International Day of Rural Women to raise awareness of the power and potential of rural women to help fight global hunger.

The film “This Is How We Rise” is produced by award-winning production company Somesuch & Co. and is part of IFAD’s global campaign ‘Real Groundbreakers’ which aims to increase investments in the economic and social empowerment of women through rural and agricultural development.

“With hunger rising over the past few years, women’s empowerment needs to be at the forefront of all development work,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, IFAD President. “Women are a cornerstone in building holistic and sustainable food systems. We all rise – men and women, communities and nations – when the 1.7 billion women and girls who live in rural areas have equal access to resources.”

Woman make up about half of the agricultural workforce globally, yet they are more likely to be food insecure than men in every region of the world. As producers, rural women face greater constraints than men in accessing essential productive resources, technology, market information and financial assets.

“If we can mobilize political support to empower rural women and increase funding to agricultural development through IFAD and others, there will be higher overall food production, better nutrition, poverty reduction and increased access to education,” said Houngbo.

The film includes the voice of Angelou reading her iconic poem “Still I Rise”, with images of rural women from IFAD-supported projects in Mozambique and Nepal who face daily challenges in some of the world’s poorest rural areas. Like in Angelou’s poem, they demonstrate their resolve as they go about their tasks and build their businesses.

“The women in this film are locally cast. They’re real farmers, fisherwomen, mothers, sisters, and community leaders. It was deeply humbling to be in their company,” said the film’s director Camille Summers-Valli. “The film is about sending a message of hope and of strength.”

Angelou, a poet, humanitarian and civil rights activist who passed away in 2014, touched the lives of millions globally through her teachings, writings and actions. Through her works, she championed gender equality.


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SOURCE International Fund for Agricultural Development

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