'Rural women are essential in the whole community'


In 2016 Graciela joined the cooperative Agroindustrial del Palmito APROPAL Ltda. It was easy for her to get involved as women get the same opportunities as men to become a member of the cooperative.

Graciela Urrutia Becerra, 30 years
Agroindustrial del Palmito APROPAL Ltda
San Martin, Peru

“I decided to join a cooperative as it gives me much advantages. I have a safe market where I can sell my products and the benefits are for me.” 

Within the cooperative she is a sector delegate, “davicillo”,  and is the communication link between the cooperative and its members. Graciela has a lot of responsibilities in her management function, but she enjoys it. “In the cooperative I am responsible and have strong convincing skills. I also concern about gender and the issues around it. I hope to see in time that more female members are convinced and reach for higher positions in my cooperative, because women also CAN!” Graciela argues that informational meetings should be held to encourage women and to explain their importance within a cooperative. As well, trainings and workshops on leadership should be given so that women gain knowledge and can get better positions. “Rural women are important, as leaders in cooperatives and also in the society.”

For the coming years, Graciela wishes to see the cooperative grow and bring more benefits for the society. She hopes that it will become more productive and sustainable over time. But as said before, rural women are essential in the production as well as in the whole community. Therefore, Graciela hopes that in the coming years there will be more focus on including women. Her personal wish for the next years is short and clear:

 “In five years I will lead the cooperative and be a woman in leadership that is able to face new challenges!”

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