Concilia - Empowerment of women in rural areas

The CONCILIA Interterritorial Cooperation Project started in Monegros, within its Development Center.

Empowering rural women highlights the importance of women in rural areas. The overall objective is to empower women to promote leadership among rural women and recognize their role as a driving force for development. The project started in 2003 and since then it has persevered for three terms, or nine years. The total budget for these three periods is €818,534.00.

The main objective of rural women empowerment is to increase their power, upgrade their skills and increase their potential. This energizes their situation and enables progress towards equal participation in all areas of life: personal, professional, social, political, economic and psychological, with particular emphasis on innovation and sustainability. This empowerment requires the application of a critical approach to the gender system: roles and stereotypes, participation gaps and historical recognition in order to increase women’s self-confidence and confidence, their skills, their potential and the significance of their decisions and actions.

The scope of rural women empowerment aims to promote sustainable development and equal opportunity. The personal, professional, social, political, economic and psychological improvement of the lives of women in rural areas has a positive effect on the social and territorial structure of rural areas by helping to avoid urban migration and promoting socio-economic progress. This project considers the characteristics of the perimeter of each region and how gender affects the mode of settlement of these places and what is the impact of being a woman in the rural world.

The project carried out were aimed at rural women, students, businesswomen and entrepreneurs, women at risk of exclusion and the public.

The specific objectives of the CONCILIA project are to increase levels of self-esteem, encourage participation in social integration policies and the labor market, improve education and training, promote participation in decision-making, encourage involvement in the management of regions, and raise awareness of the importance of seeing women in a non-sexist way and avoiding discriminatory stereotypes.

Because it promotes women in general and rural women in particular, the CONCILIA project can be extended to other European regions and countries.

Gender equality within the project

The CONCILIA Cooperation Project is an innovative project by its recipients and especially by the actions it has carried out since its origin. They work with businesswomen and entrepreneurs by carrying out actions in which projects – which are examples of diversification and innovation – can be seen “in situ” by other women in other territories. They also work with students in secondary schools and rural schools to promote gender equality, changing roles and against gender-based violence.

The activities we carry out with these groups are stimulating, entertaining, and involving the students because they take an active part in them. One example – and one of the most recent activities – was to create several rap songs in which the students co-wrote the lyrics and the music.

One of the most important aspects is the fight against gender-based violence. They are working on this in collaboration with the local social services of the regions via a project called “sorority weaving”: They are currently creating a network in which women who have escaped gender-based violence help others who are still affected by it. Classes were given on how local produce and produce can be processed.

European LEADER Award for Gender Equality

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Leader France, in collaboration with ELARD, is organizing an award ceremony for the European LEADER Award for Gender Equality. This competition, open to all European LAGs, highlights concrete achievements funded by the LEADER 2014-2020 program and which contribute to gender equality in rural areas.

As the French Senate report of 14 October 2021 points out, women living in rural areas face more obstacles in their private and professional lives than men. Fortunately, there are many good ways to combat these inequalities in France and Europe.

Concilia – Empowerment of women in rural areas, was one of 6 projects that went on to the finals of the European LEADER Award for Gender Equality in France