[22 May/The Country]

Rural women are underpaid and undervalued despite their multiple contributions to their farm, family, home and community according to Fiona Gower, President of Rural Women New Zealand. She reported this at a workshop aimed to help women gain confidence, express themselves and network with like-minded people. Mrs Gower reported relationships and reputation were everything when it came to being a leader. Gower received a standing ovation for her speech and recommended drawing young members into a community through the social support network and helping to encourage them to develop their skills and confidence. Mrs Gower has met with the Prime Minister, attended United Nations discussions on empowerment of rural women and girls, was a delegate at the Associated Countrywomen of the World gathering in Australia, and spoke at an international leptospirosis conference.