The International Day of Rural Women is observed annually across the world on 15 October to recognize the critical role and contribution of rural women.
Significance of the day: Highlights the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women in enhancing rural and agricultural development, eradicating rural poverty and improving food security.
2016 Theme: “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too”. It tries to bring focus on farmers, pastoralists and fishers who are standing on the frontlines of food insecurity due to climate changed due to temperatures rise.
The United Nations also calls for empowering rural women as a pre-requisite for fulfilling the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SGD) which aims at ending poverty and hunger, achieve food security and empower all women and girls.
Why International Day of Rural Women is celebrated?
- Rural women, make up over a quarter of the total world population. Majority of them depend on natural resources and agriculture for their livelihood.
- In developing countries, rural women represent approximately 43% of the agricultural labour force. They produce, prepare and process much of the food available, thereby giving them primary responsibility for food security.
- Thus it is important to recognise the contribution and significant role played by these rural women in food security and poverty elevation.
- It is also necessary for ensuring rural women’s access to productive agricultural resources contributes to decreasing world hunger and poverty.
Background: The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on 15 October 2008. The day was constituted by the UN General Assembly by passing resolution 62/136 in December 2007.