UN Marks 2023 International Rural Women Day

UN Marks 2023 International Rural Women Day
  • PublishedOctober 15, 2023

Countries under the United Nations are commemorating the 2023 International rural women day.

International Day of Rural Women, observed on October 15th, is a day dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the vital role that rural women play in their communities and societies. The history of this day is rooted in the efforts to promote gender equality, women’s rights, and rural development.

The day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007 to recognize the critical contributions of rural women, who make up a significant portion of the agricultural workforce in many parts of the world. It aimed to raise awareness about their struggles and achievements.

Rural women play a multifaceted role in agriculture, food production, and rural development. They are often responsible for tending to crops and livestock, ensuring food security, and managing household and community activities.

The day highlights the need to empower rural women, ensure their access to resources, education, and healthcare, and promote gender equality. Rural women often face challenges related to land ownership, lack of access to credit and markets, and limited political representation.

The United Nations has been instrumental in promoting the rights and well-being of rural women. Various UN agencies and organizations collaborate to support rural women’s economic and social empowerment.

This day serves as a reminder of the significant but often underappreciated role that rural women play in sustaining their families and communities. It also calls for collective efforts to overcome the challenges they face and promote their empowerment and well-being.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres while speaking about the day called for a transformation of our food systems to ensure that all people have access to healthy diets that contribute to the restoration of nature, address climate change and are adapted to local circumstances.

He said,, “Across the world, food systems depend on the daily work of rural women. They play a variety of essential roles, from raising crops and processing their harvest, to preparing food and distributing their products, ensuring that both their families and communities are nourished. Yet paradoxically those same women often have less access to food and a higher risk of hunger, malnutrition, undernutrition and food insecurity than their male counterparts.

“The reasons for this disconnect from their right to food include unequal power relations and discriminatory gender norms, for example, resulting in women eating last and least in the household, as well as their disproportionate responsibility for unpaid caregiving and domestic work.”

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