The day of the Rural Women is celebrated directly before World Food
Day in order to highlight the role played by rural women. In developing countries, women often play a direct and vital role in the rural economy. They are often involved in crop production and livestock care and provide food and water for their families. The UN has designated the 15th October to be the day to recognise the role of women in improving rural development and food security.  The first day was celebrated in 2008 and it recognises, ‘the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty’

On the 2010 day, Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon commented,

Today we recognize the important contributions of rural women, including indigenous women, to development. Rural women are farmers, fishers, herders and entrepreneurs; keepers of ethnic identities, traditional knowledge and sustainable practices; care-givers, parents and guardians.’

He also commented that rural women in developing, poor countries often do the majority of agricultural work but endure terrible working conditions, little pay or social protection. Ban-Ki Moon noted that they produce most of the world’s food but are often excluded from land tenure, which means it is hard for their businesses to prosper. Their voices are seldom heard due to the position of women in their society.

The day is therefore vital to work towards member states making these women equal partners in development and giving them equal rights the ability to gain property and inheritance rights), freedom from violence and education.


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