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International Day of Rural Women
15th October 2020


The 15th of October marks International Day of Rural

Women.  Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly

on the 18th  December 2007, in accordance with its

Resolution 62/ 136 ,  this day highlights the role and

contribution of rural women in promoting agricultural and

rural development. 


Rural women are a vital component of ensuring the

achievement of the Sustainable development agenda

2030, as they participate in all economic aspects of rural

community development such as agriculture,

and navigating various challenges such as environmental

disasters triggered by climate change. 


Acknowledging that rural women and girls face great

challenges in realizing their human rights, this year's theme

is “Building Rural Women's Resilience in the Aftermath of the

Covid-19 Pandemic”  : that focuses on recognizing the struggle of rural women, their specific needs and their role in society.


Despite the vital contribution of rural women to ensuring the sustainability of families and rural communities, improving rural livelihoods and general well-being, rural women remain disadvantaged and marginalized, with a large population of them remaining overworked, underpaid and are completely sidelined. 


Furthermore, rural areas suffer from multidimensional poverty encompasses poor quality of work and inadequate living standards. Moreover, societal norms have impeded women's participation in decision making, discriminatory structural barriers continue to exclude rural women and these women risk being subjected to violence and harmful traditional practices. Hence, it is necessary to acknowledge and address the pressing issues faced by rural women in their communities. 


Women and girls in rural areas lack equal access to resources,  public services such as education, health care, safe water and sanitation services. Similarly, with increased migration of men, the workload of women and girls in rural areas has increased greatly. All these factors have heightened as well as the vulnerability of women and girls since the COVID-19 pandemic as they continue to be disproportionately affected by the pandemic and also due to the fact that their unique health needs have failed to be met. 


The Geneva Institute for Human Rights welcomes all decisions issued by the Human Rights Council regarding the promotion and protection of the human rights of farmers and other workers in rural areas, and further welcomes the work of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people working in rural areas, and the Human Rights Council's adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other Workers in Rural Areas,  recognizing the significant role rural women play in the economic survival of their families and the rural and national economy.


Furthermore,  the Geneva Institute for Human Rights invites governments, United Nations agencies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to ensure the respect, protection and fulfillment of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. 


Finally, the Institute agrees strongly with UN Women’s support for the leadership and participation of rural women in drafting laws, strategies, policies and programs on all issues that affect their livelihoods. Amidst the global pandemic, threats of poverty and inequality, the Institute urges the global community to support rural women and girls, enhance their capacity to respond to crisis and ensure the full respect of their human rights.

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