SANTIAGO, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Women in rural parts of Latin America continue to be "invisible, indispensable and overworked, despite some progress," the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) said Monday.
"Although we have seen considerable improvement in the rights of rural women in Latin American and Caribbean countries, there are still numerous obstacles to overcome before women gain their own autonomy," Claudia Brito, FAO's gender officer, said while presenting the agency's latest report on the matter.
Because women in the region are expected to rear children, as well as care for the elders and the infirm, and tend to other duties, they are largely overburdened with responsibilities that invariably go unrecognized and unrewarded, the FAO report said.
"The invisibility of the work they do in the area of reproduction (and) production ... is another key factor in impoverishing rural women," said Brito.
What's more, these women are underrepresented in politics, making it unlikely their plight will be addressed by public policies, she said.
Despite their vulnerable situation, rural women are key to educating their communities and passing on essential knowledge in ecological agriculture and the using of medicinal plants, the FAO report said.
With that in mind, the UN agency is calling on regional governments to ensure economic resources for rural women and adopt policies that value their contributions.
"The pace of poverty reduction has been slower for women in Latin America than for men. In 2014, for every 100 men living in poor households, there were 118 women," said the report.