The UN marked International Day for Rural Women with an emphasis on rural women as “key agents” in achieving the transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development.
15 October 2015: The UN marked International Day for Rural Women with an emphasis on rural women as “key agents” in achieving the transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development.
The UN Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC) reported that, in developing countries, women living in rural areas make up around 43% of the agricultural labor force, and that empowering women farmers, including through ensuring their access to productive agricultural resources, is critical for fighting hunger.
UN Women said rural women face limited access to credit, health care and education. In a message marking the Day, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka highlighted evidence that a gender gap in agriculture is growing across countries, and that it is increasingly important to address the adverse effects of climate change through climate-resilient agriculture strategies and natural resource management, in order to secure rural women’s rights, empowerment and well-being.
Mlambo-Ngcuka also recalled that, when Heads of State and Government met in New York in September 2015 to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, they also marked the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPoA) and its review findings at the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, where the leaders of Angola, Colombia, Jordan, Paraguay, Senegal and Viet Nam, among others, highlighted intersecting forms of discrimination for girls and women living in poverty in rural areas, and pledged to overcome these challenges.
UN Women stressed that gender equality and women’s rights and empowerment are cross-cutting throughout the 2030 Agenda, and noted the connections between the International Day for Rural Women with World Food Day on 16 October, and with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October. [UNRIC Press Release] [UN Women Press Release] [UN Women Executive Director Message]