This article talks about the importance of women in rural communities.
Given the fact that they often are the chief executives of their areas and that on a global scale women cultivate more than half of the food that is grown on the earth it is astonishing that they are overlooked by most development strategies.
Even though there is the third millenium goal that sets the goal of promoting gender equality and empowering woman and several conferences held by the UN (e.g. one in september about the millenium goals in general and how to achieve them) it remains doubtful to me wether the goal can still be reached. Given the achievements until today it doesn´t look too good.