Google Translate


A Toxics-Free Future


Leadership Training for Rural Woman Dedicated to Irene Fernandez

Press Release

From: Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP)

Contact: Marjo Busto,


Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) and Asian Rural Women’s Coalition (ARWC) dedicated its Leadership Training for Rural Women to the memory of Irene Fernandez in a gathering of women farmer leaders and CSO representatives of India in Chennai, Tamil Nadu last July 31. 
Irene Fernandez was the Chairperson of the Steering Council of PAN AP as well as a member of the Steering Committee of the Asian Rural Women’s Coalition (ARWC). Fernandez was a former teacher who became a social activist in the last four decades before she died.  She was instrumental and resolute in developing a leadership training programme for rural women, and had a hand in creating the modules, methods & strategies in the developed programme.
“One can see Irene Fernandez’s imprint and legacy in the Leadership Training for Rural Women. She was insistent that we should strengthen the leadership capacities, sharpen the perspectives and develop the skills of rural women to empower them,” said Sarojeni V. Rengam, Executive Director of PAN AP.
The 6-day training aimed to teach women about land, food and agricultural issues at the local and global levels as it impacts women.  The training used creative learning methods and strategies, such as games, workshops, and community visits.
In Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 19 rural women from different states in India completed the training which was held from July 27 to August 1.  The training was headed by Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP), the Asian Rural Women’s Coalition (ARWC) and its partners in India, the Society for Rural Education and Development (SRED) and Tamil Nadu Women’s Forum (TNWF). 
Addressing the gathered Indian rural women, Rengam added: “Let us carry on Irene Fernandez’s aspirations. Let us develop many more Irenes among rural women through this leadership training.”



Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific

P.O. Box 1170, 10850 Penang


Tel: +604-6570271 or +604-6560381 | Fax: +604-6583960



Like us on:


Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is a global network working to eliminate the human and environmental harm caused by pesticides and to promote biodiversity based ecological agriculture. PAN Asia and the Pacific, one of PAN's regional centres, is effectively advancing food sovereignty, gender justice and environmental sustainability. We are committed to support the struggles of rural women, agricultural workers, peasants, indigenous peoples and other small food producers.