International Day of Rural Women

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2024 Date15 October 2024
2025 Date15 October 2025

International Day of Rural Women

International Day of Rural Women in

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International Day of Rural Women History

International Day of Rural Women honours the essential role played by rural women in contributing to the development, sustainability, and overall well-being of their communities. The significance of this event is to provide recognition, raise awareness, and encourage action to combat the socio-economic challenges faced by these women. Moreover, it highlights the important function that rural women perform in areas such as food production, income generation, and natural resource management, which all contribute to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The United Nations General Assembly established International Day of Rural Women on December 18, 2007, and it has since been observed annually. South African rural women are vital contributors to the agricultural sector, as well as key players in local economies and community development; however, they face multiple challenges, including insufficient access to land, economic resources, health care, and education. Furthermore, they are often vulnerable to gender-based violence. The observance of International Day of Rural Women serves as an opportunity for South Africans to acknowledge and address these issues, while celebrating the achievements and resilience of rural women throughout the country.

In South Africa, various activities take place on International Day of Rural Women to promote awareness and acknowledgement of their invaluable contributions to society. These activities may include workshops, seminars, and local community events that emphasise the importance of rural women's empowerment, and provide opportunities for them to attain the necessary resources for improving their livelihoods. The International Day of Rural Women takes place annually on October 15th, acting as a platform for continued advocacy, support, and development for the countless rural women overcoming adversities in the communities they tirelessly serve.

International Day of Rural Women facts

  • The theme for International Day of Rural Women in 2023 was Rural Women Cultivating Good Food for All.
  • Globally, one in three employed women work in agriculture.
  • According to the UN, less than 15% of landholders worldwide are women
  • Access to and control over land is a significant issue for rural women in South Africa. Traditional practices often exclude women from owning or inheriting land.
  • As primary caregivers and food producers, rural women are severely affected by environmental factors such as climate change and drought.

Top things to do in South Africa for this observance

  • Take the opportunity to learn a traditional skill or craft from rural women. This could be weaving, pottery, beadwork, or any other traditional art form. Look for tutorials online, join virtual classes, or reach out to local artisans for guidance.
  • Reach out to rural women's organizations, cooperatives, or community groups in South Africa. Engage in virtual conversations, exchange experiences, and build connections. Listen to their stories, challenges, and aspirations, and explore ways to create stronger bonds of solidarity.

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