International Day of Rural Women
15 October, 2021
Women and girls play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and overall wellbeing. Accounting for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labour force, including informal work, females perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within families and households in rural areas and make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience. Women farmers may be as productive and enterprising as their male counterparts but are less able to access land, credit, agricultural inputs, markets, and high-value agrifood chains and obtain lower prices for their crops. This is on top of structural barriers and discriminatory social norms that constrain women’s decision-making power and political participation in rural households and communities. Rural women fare worse than rural men and urban women, and disproportionately experience poverty, exclusion, and the effects of climate change. International Day of Rural Women is thus to supports the leadership and participation of rural women in shaping laws, strategies, policies, and programmes on all issues that affect their lives, and to progress the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s integrated framework for rural women’s empowerment, underpinned by international labour standards, social dialogue and the recognition that rural women play a key role in climate action.