Rural Women and Development

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Rural women form the backbone of the agricultural labour force across much of the developing world. Globally, more than a third of the female workforce is engaged in agriculture, while in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, more than 60 per cent of all female employment is in this sector.[1]

International Day of Rural Women

A woman farmer in Cambodia tilling a rice paddy for the planting season - ©FAO/A.K. Kimoto
United Nations’ International Day of Rural Women celebrates and honors the role of rural women on October 15 each year. It recognizes rural women’s importance in enhancing agricultural and rural development worldwide.

The International Day of Rural Women directs attention to both the contributions that women make in rural areas and the many challenges they face. Established by the General Assembly in its resolution 62/136 of 18 December 2007, this international day recognizes “the critical roles and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.” The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on October 15, 2008.

Rural women form the backbone of the agricultural labour force across much of the developing world. According to the 2009 ILO Global Employment Trends for Women report, globally, more than a third of the female workforce is engaged in agriculture while in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, more than 60 per cent of all female employment is in this sector.

New online feature on Rural Women and Development - by WomenWatch

To coincide with International Day of Rural Women – commemorated every year on 15 October - UN WomenWatch launched an updated online feature on “Rural Women and Development"

Through the online feature you can view the thematic portal, which includes:

  • the SG's message for the 2010 commemoration (in all official UN languages);
  • a new feature article “Investing in rural women contributes to food security” provided by FAO; and
  • links to resources on other UN websites, such as IFAD’s recent publication "Report on the Special Session of the 2010 Farmers’ Forum, Promoting Women’s Leadership in Farmers’ Organizations and Rural Producers’ Organizations."

This portal on Rural Women and Development complements Womenwatch’s comprehensive directory of UN resources on gender equality and women’s empowerment and Womenwatch’s UN system-wide gender equality newsfeed.

See also

References

  1. ILO. 2009. Global Employment Trends for Women. Available from: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_103456.pdf

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