October 15th

International Day of Rural Women -

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International Day of Rural Women, celebrated on October 15 each year, is a day dedicated to honoring the crucial role of rural women in enhancing agricultural and rural development across the globe. This special event recognises the contribution of these women in promoting food security, eradicating rural poverty and improving rural livelihoods.

It also emphasizes the need for building their resilience towards climate change. The United Nations established this day in recognition of these diligent women whose hard work often remains unacknowledged.

History of International Day of Rural Women

Established by United Nations, we first celebrated International Day of Rural Women on October 15, 2008. The main objective of this day is to pay tribute to the vital role that rural women, including indigenous women, play in advancing agriculture, supporting rural progress, enhancing food security, and battling rural poverty worldwide.

Campaigns by multiple civic organizations resulted in the United Nations endorsing an International Day of Rural Women. These groups emphasized the significant yet often undervalued contributions made by women in countryside areas. These services extend from agricultural production and livestock rearing to building community initiatives and designing & executing rural development programs. Natural disasters and economic slumps often affect these women the most.

Food production and food security formed the core theme of the inaugural International Day of Rural Women on October 15, 2008. The issues faced by rural women and their tremendous contributions to society are highlighted every year through various themes.

An array of events around the globe marks this day. From local community events and campaigns to national policy debates and charity fundraising efforts, International Day of Rural Women is observed in numerous ways. This day is used by many to draw attention to the challenges faced by rural women, push for reforms, and salute the invaluable services rendered by them to society.

International Day of Rural Women Timeline

International Women's Year

The United Nations declared 1975 as International Women's Year, focusing on improving the lives of rural women globally.

First International Day of Rural Women

The first UN-backed event in a series aimed at highlighting the critical role played by rural women in society.

Focus on Climate Change

The theme for the Day revolved around how climate change impacts rural women.

Empowering Rural Women

The Day was dedicated to calls for the economic empowerment of rural women.

Rural Women, Equality and Sustainability

The focus for the year was to increase access and control over resources.

Launch of Sustainable Development Goals

A big push for the Day focused on ways to empower rural women in the new SDG agenda.

Building Rural Women’s Resilience

The focus this year fell on resilience in the wake of COVID-19 as the pandemic had greatly impacted rural life, especially for women.

Ideas to Celebrate International Day of Rural Women

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Rural Women Empowerment Webinar

Arrange an online seminar discussing the roles and contributions of rural women in society. Set a platform where successful rural women can share their stories and inspire others to become more productive and active in their communities.

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Health Talks & Check-ups

Offer rural women the opportunity to learn about different health topics and provide free medical check-ups, with focus on reproductive health, nutritional advice and illness prevention.

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Fundraising For Rural Women

Launch a fundraising campaign to support rural women's access to education, health services, and basic needs. Similarly, initiatives to help them acquire farming tools or start small businesses can be beneficial.

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Skills Development Workshop

Offer courses or workshops to teach new skills that can help rural women advance in their careers or start their own businesses. Consider bringing in successful business women as mentors.

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Documentary Screening

Screen a documentary that showcases the contributions and challenges of rural women globally. The viewing could be followed by a group discussion or Q&A with relevant experts.

7 Interesting Facts About Rural Women


Champions of Biodiversity

By preserving seeds for future generations, rural women play an instrumental role in maintaining plant biodiversity. This not only assists crop evolution but also offers food security and income for their families.


Guardians of Traditional Knowledge

Women in rural areas often hold a wealth of traditional knowledge regarding farming, food creation, and nutrition, which provides a source of strength and adaptability for their communities in the face of climatic and economic variations.


Limited Land Rights

Despite their significant contribution to agriculture, women globally make up fewer than 20% of landowners according to FAO statistics, a disparity caused by societal norms and legal restrictions that hinder women’s ability to own or inherit property.


Water Carriers

Reported by UNICEF, women and girls in rural societies can dedicate up to six hours each day just gathering water, a task that takes away from their ability to engage in income-producing opportunities or obtain an education.


Reduced Access to Healthcare

The World Health Organization shows that compared to their urban counterparts, rural women tend to have less access to high-quality healthcare due to barriers such as long distances, expenses, and limited awareness.


Illiteracy Rates

Rural women experience higher rates of illiteracy compared to urban women and men. UNESCO attributes this to factors like poverty, cultural norms, and lack of educational institutions.


Contributor to Economy

Women in rural locations are key contributors to the economy even though their work is frequently underappreciated and receives little acknowledgment.

International Day of Rural Women FAQs

Next International Day of Rural Women Dates

Year Date Day
2023 October 15th Sunday
2024 October 15th Tuesday
2025 October 15th Wednesday
2026 October 15th Thursday
2027 October 15th Friday
What is the pattern? Every October 15th

International Day of Rural Women Word Search

  • Rural
  • Women
  • Agriculture
  • Development
  • Community
  • Equality