International Day of Rural Women

International Day of Rural Women

UN International Day of rural women is celebrated on 15th October. It was observed on 15 October 2008 for the first time. The Day recognizes the effort & critical role of rural women in agricultural & rural development. Rural women participate in improving food security and eradicating rural poverty. This day is to address the problems faced by rural women seeking good healthcare, education, and gender equity. This year it is based on the theme focussing on the struggle and need of rural women.

Importance of International day of rural women

Being an important part of rural development and contributing to world food production, rural women are not that much recognized. However, they are very much vulnerable to exploitation, gender inequality, and lack of basic rights. They have no right to make decisions or even speak about it. They have limited access to education, healthcare, sanitization products, and more basic needs.

  • 10% of the world’s population still resides below the poverty line even after so much effort of poverty eradication. Most of them live in rural areas
  • 80% of people live in rural areas(Asia &africa) depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. They work on daily wages and most of the agricultural labor is rural women across the globe.
  • Half of the Rural women in the world are lagging in terms of literacy. They account for a major portion of 3.9 billion people who lack access to the internet
  • Rural girls' child marriage chances are double. They face abuse and violence.
  • More than 35% of pregnant rural women don’t get proper healthcare to give birth in a healthier environment

UN Initiatives for International day for rural women

43% of women in the global agricultural labour force
  • This Day is not just a day on the calendar but to raise awareness of rural women’s participation in the rural development and betterment of their societies, contribution to sustainable development. Household food security and many more
  • The UN calls for action to support rural women as part of the observance of this important day. They do this through various events and media announcements. They encourage individuals and organizations to use #ruralwomen on social media to show solidarity with rural women.
  • In this crucial time of COVID-19, the UN has focused on the theme this year is “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19” to make the world aware of the struggles of these women, their needs, and their critical and key role in our society.
  • UN is advocating for providing essential services (water, health, electricity) to support women’s productivity, unpaid domestic work during the COVID-19 crisis
  • There is a wide wage difference between rural areas and urban areas. Rural women do not get equal pay for the work. The UN has taken a few actions for minimizing this gap and support gender equality. If rural women had the same privilege as men in education and agriculture access then they will do excellent in every field whether it be agriculture, education, or food security.
  • UN has initiated schemes to teach rural women about the financial aspects of banking, credit schemes, etc. to elevate their financial stability and independence.
  • UN has drafted laws to empower rural women to get complete administrative rights in the property they own including the right to inheritance. 
  • They have worked towards educating rural women about the specific health needs in areas of sexual and reproductive health, STDs, pregnancy care, and family planning.

How this day is celebrated all over the world?

Rural Women
  • Many government agencies, community, and non-government entities celebrate this day by broadcasting or publishing special features through television, radio, print media, and social media by
  • Conferences and panel discussions are organized to acknowledge the rural women role in social, agricultural, and economical development
  • Activities and programs like global exchange programs and fundraising projects are organized to support rural women
  • Expos and workshops to present and enhance the contribution of rural women in social development
  • India celebrates “Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas” which translate to “International women farmers day” on International Rural women day to recognize the contribution of rural women in the agriculture and rural development
  • Agricultural ministry of India used to organize an event in New Delhi to recognize the contribution of women in all activities of the agriculture field and the role they play in supplying nutritious food.

Collectively, rural women are a force that can drive global progress.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon


  1. “Rural Women's Day.” United Nations, United Nations, URL 
  2. “International Day of Rural Women.” UN Women, URL
  3. Taneja, Richa. “International Day Of Rural Women: A Day That Celebrates Contribution Of Village Women.”, NDTV, 15 Oct. 2019, URL

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