World Rural Women’s Day
06 Oct 2009
World Rural Women’s Day takes place each year on the 15th October. Celebrations and events take place in more than 100 countries around the world each year.
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World Rural Women’s Day was launched by several international NGOs during the 4th UN World Conference on Women in Beijing 1995 and a worldwide empowerment and educational campaign is annually organized since 1997 by the Women’s World Summit Foundation WWSF. Celebrations and events take place in more than 100 countries around the world.
The Day takes place each year on the 15th October.Rural women the world over play a major role in ensuring food securityand in the development and stability of the rural areas. Yet, withlittle or no status, they frequently lack the power to secure landrights or to access vital services such as credit, inputs, extension,training and education. Their vital contribution to society goeslargely unnoticed. World rural Women’s Day aims to change this bybringing rural women out of obscurity at least once a year — to remindsociety how much they owe to rural women and to give value and creditto their work.
“Activities can be organized independently in different ways according to specific local priorities and traditions.” say the events organisers. “It is important, however, that any activities or events be concrete and visible to raise the profile of rural women in the public eye. It is up to people’s own organization, group or committee to make this day meaningful according to their own circumstances.” They ask that exposure and publicity are given to World Rural Women’s Day in newsletters, networks or homepage, contact with local or national radio explaining why it is important that the role and work of rural women is recognized. They suggest that participants hold press conferences, organize an exhibitions or create a national award for exceptional rural women or women’s groups.
Collaboration is key to their thinking; they suggest that people getting involved in the day link up with sister organizations, other women’s groups for joint events in order to reinforce each other’s efforts.
The Women’s World Summit Foundation are suggesting that to participate people put on village fairs, a stand in the main street or sales of foodstuffs or handicrafts. Additionally they suggest putting on a play or a show, with songs and music to draw attention to your contribution to sustainable development and problems as rural women, invite the mayor, headman, local authorities as guests, organize a regional workshop on an issue of specific concern to rural women, a national parade through your capital city, with banners, music, etc. As you can see there will no doubt be a great deal going on to mark the event.
To illustrate just how significant it is to mark this day the Women’s World Summit Foundation point out that: ‘Rural women comprise more than one quarter of the total world population. 500 million women live below the poverty line in rural areas. Women produce 60–80% of basic foodstuffs in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Women perform over 50% of the labor involved in intensive rice cultivation in Asia. Women perform 30% of the agricultural work in industrialized countries. Women head 60% of households in some regions of Africa: Women meet 90% of household water and fuel needs in Africa. Women process 100% of basic household foodstuffs in Africa.’
If you want to find out how to get involved please visit the website:
WWSF also publishes every year an OPEN LETTER TO RURAL WOMEN OF THEWORLD on a special subject (20,000 poster and Open Letters are mailedto NGOs, development organisations, Human Rights groups and the media).
The WWSF are also pleased to announce the 10 winners of their Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life. This is an award that honours creative and courageous women and women’s groups around the world for their contribution in improving the quality of life in rural communities, for protecting the environment, transmitting knowledge and standing up for human rights and peace. To find out more about this years Laureates please visit the website:
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