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International Day of Rural Women, October 15th – History, Significance, Theme

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The UN designates October 15 as the International Day of Rural Women. Originally declared in 2008, this day honors “the vital role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in strengthening agricultural and rural development, improving food security; gender inequality is particularly common in agriculture because women are typically crucial in guaranteeing the household’s food security. Therefore, increasing equality entails giving the men and women who are impacted by development a vote in how resources are allocated. Additionally, it entails assisting policymakers in ensuring that laws support equitable access to natural resources and agriculture.

International Day of Rural Women: History

The United Nations has been working to keep the world’s nations peaceful and friendly since its founding in 1945. It was proposed to empower and recognize women in 1995 during the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. In order to recognize the importance of rural women to agriculture, food production, and food safety, it was suggested that October 15 be observed as International Day of Rural Women as October 16 was World Food Day.

A resolution calling for the development of ICT skills for all, especially women and indigenous people living in remote and rural communities, was adopted in 2003 at the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva. October 15 will be recognized yearly as International Day of Rural Women globally, according to a resolution 62/136 passed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 18, 2007.

International Day of Rural Women: Significance

The UN estimates that women make up more than 40% of the labor force in agriculture in developing nations. Despite this, women still have obstacles when it comes to owning property, receiving equal pay, participating in bodies that make decisions, and having access to the supplies, loans, and markets that are necessary for their farms to prosper. The report went on to say that giving these women equal chances might boost agricultural output by 2.5 to 4%. The percentage of persons who are undernourished can be decreased from 12 to 17 percent.

How Can Governments Help Rural Households and Women Cope with Rising Food Prices?

By implementing or expanding food assistance and social safety net programs that take into account men’s and women’s different roles and responsibilities within households as well as the different behaviors they adopt in times of crisis, countries can help rural households, and especially rural women, cope with high food prices.

Governments distribute food rations to households through food assistance programs to make up for a shortfall of food resources. This includes providing households with food stamps or vouchers that can be redeemed for food, implementing school feeding programs that provide meals to students, and food-for-work programs that provide rations of food in exchange for labor on public works projects like constructing roads.

In addition, school feeding programs encourage parents to keep their kids in school during times of need, ensuring that they get the nutrition they require and maintaining their chances of having better prospects later in life. Girls, who frequently leave school before boys, benefit greatly from these programs.

Furthermore, public work programs that include women have many positive effects, including improving their access to credit since their participation in the program is frequently seen as a guarantee of repayment. Cash transfers are also helpful in supporting women, especially when the transfer is made specifically for them.

The Theme for the International Day of Rural Women:

The subject of the day is “Rural women cultivating good food for all”. The goal is to eliminate the discrimination faced by rural women.

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Last Updated : 22 Sep, 2023
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