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close this bookWomen's World Summit Foundation and Prizes for Women's Creativity in Rural Life (WWSF, 40 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentOpen Letter to Rural Women of the World: Human Rights for all Rural Women
View the documentWords of Encouragement on the occasion of World Rural Women's Day - 15th October 1997
View the documentBackground of World Rural Women's Day
View the documentAbout the day and ideas for activities: each year on the 15th October
View the documentAbout the ''PRIZE for women's creativity in rural life'' ©
View the documentPrizes for women's creativity in rural life - 111 laureates and what they did
Open this folder and view contentsPresentation of 36 Laureates ''PRIZE for women's creativity in rural life'' 1998
View the documentPartial list of women's groups, organizations, governments, UN representatives, NGOs co-celebrators of World Rural Women's Day in 1997
View the documentWorld Fund for the Dignity of Children: to help end their sexual exploitation and educate to prevent such practices*

About the day and ideas for activities: each year on the 15th October

World Rural Women's Day takes place each year on the 15th October. Rural women the world over play a major role in ensuring food security and in the development and stability of the rural areas. Yet, with little or no status, they frequently lack the power to secure land rights or to access vital services such as credit, inputs, extension, training and education. Their vital contribution to society goes largely unnoticed. World Rural Women's Day aims to change this by bringing rural women out of obscurity at least once a year - to remind society how much they owe to rural women and to give value and credit to their work.

About the activities

Activities can be organized independently in different ways according to specific local priorities and traditions. 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 your own organization, group or committee to make this day meaningful according to your own circumstances.

Some ideas: Exposure and publicity

Mention World Rural Women's Day in all your publications, newsletters, networks or homepage; contact your local or national radio explaining why it is important that the role and work of rural women is recognized. Hold a press conference, organize an exhibition, create a national award for exceptional rural women or women's groups.


Find out what your national FAO committee for World Food Day is doing - suggest a joint activity - join in with their celebrations. Link up with sister organizations, other women's groups for a joint event and to reinforce each others' efforts. For example, convene a panel discussion and invite rural women's NGOs to present their projects, discuss their needs, what works and what doesn't.

Inform local authorities, such as local extension agents, mayor, headman, tell them what you are doing.

Issue raising
Write a letter to your Minister of Agriculture or Prime Minister drawing attention to the contribution and problems facing rural women in your country. If possible, propose to visit the Minister with a delegation - or invite the Minister to come to your World Rural Women's Day event.

Special events
Organize, for example, a village fair, a stand in the main street, a sale of foodstuffs or handicrafts, put 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.

Did you know

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-Sahara Africa and the Caribbean. Women perform over 50% of the labour 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 food stuffs in Africa.