THE DIMITRA Project, Rural Women and Development started in 1994 at the King Baudouin Foundation in Brussels, Belgium. The DIMITRA Guidebook, published in 1996, gives information on 255 European NGOs, research institutes and information centres working with and for rural women in the South.
The goal of the project was not only to provide a directory of addresses but also to systematically underline the essential contribution of rural women to the development of their country. It focuses on approaches, methods used by the organisations and on projects implemented with local partners. This is why the publication puts emphasis on the description of projects and publications, which portray women and their potentials in a positive manner.
Over 3500 copies of the Guidebook in English (out of print), Spanish, French and in Dutch have been distributed to large and small organisations all over the world. Their reactions have been of keen interest and have prompted FAO-Women in Development Service to want to continue the project and extend it, in a first phase, to the Africa and Near East regions.
An important information technology component has been added to the project, as it will soon be possible to freely access the database on the Web. The new information collected for the update of the European Guidebook and the creation of an African-Near East Guidebook will also be published under hard copies. In the case of Africa and the Near East, local organisations will work on the collection and dissemination of information in partnership with the project. A newsletter will be published twice a year and all information will be available in French and English.
The management by NGOs, research institutes, information centres and networks of a collective and international database, available on the Web and concerned with the promotion of the image of rural women, should generate synergies and changes in traditional attitudes towards rural women.
The new project has started in March 1998. If your activities coincide with the goals of the project, please do not hesitate to contact us at the King Baudouin Foundation which will continue to house the project.
Eliane Najros or Maartje Houbrechts
C/o King Baudouin Foundation
21 rue Bréderode
1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel. 32 2 549 0310/ 549 61 68
Fax: 32 2 549 03 14 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org