October 15 is International Day of Rural Women, a day recognized since 2008. Why is it important to acknowledge this very specific group?
Seventy-six percent of those living in extreme poverty live in rural areas. Women living in rural areas make up 43 percent of the agricultural work force, meaning they produce, process, and prepare much of the available food. These women have the enormous responsibility of ensuring everyone has enough to eat where they live. In fact, the majority of rural women depend on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihoods.
The official resolution for International Day of Rural Women recognizes the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.
Today is a day to celebrate and honor the women whose work is a vital contribution to their respective communities. As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “The new [global goals] have gender equality and women’s empowerment at their core, and include a target to ‘double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women.’ Indeed, rural women are critical to the success of almost all of the 17 [global goals].” That’s a significant responsibility for our collective future.
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Many of our partners do great work in supporting these women. By sharing and donating to their work, you’re helping some incredible women around the world! BRAC is dedicated to alleviating poverty by empowering the poor, including specific work in agriculture and ensuring safe and consistent access to food. 1,000 Days works to improve nutrition for mothers and children throughout the world. Mercy Corps saves and improves lives in the world’s toughest places, promoting sustainable change through communities, and you can be a part of that here.
Image 1: Preparing sweet potato meal to sell in Assouba, Côte d’Ivoire. Photo Credit: UN Photo/Patricia Esteve
Image 2: Photo credit BRAC