International conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of AFAMMER

PART  1: On 18 October, ESU President An Hermans and Secretary-General Guido Dumon participated in Ciudad Real (Spain) in the commemoration of 40 years of AFAMMER, founded in 1982 as a pioneering organisation in Spain with a clear and primary objective: that rural women should cease to be invisible and that their voice should be heard in all national and international forums in order to achieve the challenge of real equality of opportunities. This non-governmental association unites 200,000 women in Spain, and all speakers agreed that AFFAMER President ( and also ESU Vice-President) Carmen Quintanilla inspired and led the organisation with great talent and brilliant results.

“Today this organisation is more necessary than ever” was said several times and several speakers from Spain and international organisations underlined that “Women are the impetus of the countryside, we thank them for their resilience, their creativity and entrepreneurship!”

An Hermans underlined the powerful influence of civil society as an actor for change. She felt honoured to be invited and participate in the celebration. “As a representative of the older generations in this event, I am happy to see how older women are present in the association and willing to look forward together with younger people, with different opportunities, different difficulties, but always with a common hope and inspiration to improve the living conditions and well-being of all generations” she said.

Here you can find a background paper for the speech of Ms. An Hermans at the AFAMMER International Conference: Strengthen employment to combat inequality and rural depopulation caused by an aging society.

PART 2: A second part of the commemoration of 40 years of AFAMMER took place on 13-14 December. More than 800 people attended the conference in Madrid. Speakers highlighted AFAMMER’s relationships in the international network.

ESU president An Hermans’ intervention was on ‘ageing’ as a megatrend in our 21st century. She argued that we need to look at ageing and the older generation with “new eyes”. Starting from the principle that the human rights of all should be guaranteed and that ageing is a dimension of the life course, we need to create equal opportunities for all, men, and women, young and old. “Do we want to ensure that older women are not forgotten?” she asked, “That they can enjoy life and play an active role in society? Yes, let’s ensure that for the older generations of today and the future. So let’s take care of young girls, make sure they can go to school, that they live a healthy life, learn a good job instead of suffering from poverty….”

Please find her intervention here.

The two days of celebration took place in a joyous atmosphere, expressing gratitude for what could be achieved and strong conviction to continue the good work.

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