Int’l Day of Rural Women Marked

Int’l Day of Rural Women MarkedInt’l Day of Rural Women Marked

The International Day of Rural Women is an opportunity to amplify their voices and experiences from around the globe, said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message on the International Day of Rural Women, (October 15)

After last month’s landmark adoption by world leaders of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs), he said, “The challenge now is to seize the opportunity offered by this inspiring new framework to transform rural women’s lives.”

Rural women are a significant, vital and sizeable proportion of humankind. They are farmers and farm workers, horticulturists and market sellers, business women and community leaders. They are the backbone of sustainable livelihoods and provide food security for their families and communities.

Rural women’s work is crucial not only for the progress of rural households and local economies, but also for national economies through their participation in agricultural value chains, Ban said, according to a press release from the UN Information Center in Tehran (UNIC) on Thursday.

Yet rural women suffer disproportionately from poverty, and face multiple forms of discrimination, violence and insecurity. Fifteen years of effort under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have produced only marginal improvements in the situation of rural women.

 Rural women fare worse than rural men and urban men and women for every MDG indicator for which data are available.

The time has come to turn that around. The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have gender equality and women’s empowerment at their core, and include a target to “double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women.” Indeed, rural women are critical to the success of almost all of the 17 SDGs.

To do better for rural women over the next 15 years, nations must build on the lessons learned during MDG implementation. Extreme poverty is largely a rural phenomenon.

“We must build resilient social protection systems, labor and product markets, governance institutions, and civil society organizations so that rural women can both contribute to and benefit from sustainable development,” he added.