International Day of Rural Women - October 15th, 2010

World Food Day - October 16, 2010 | International Day for Eradication of Poverty - October 17, 2010

October 15th has been declared by the UN as International Rural Women's Day. This important day was started in 1995 during the Beijing Conference on Women to honour rural women. It is no coincidence that International Rural Women's Day is followed by World Food Day, October 16th and the International Day for the Elimination of Poverty, October 17th. When Rural Women succeed to their rightful place, world food production will increase and poverty will decrease.

Rural women continue to suffer from discrimination within states, communities and families. They suffer discrimination and are prevented from the rights of full citizenship. Rural women lack access to education, adequate health care, proper employment and lack the opportunity to own land or obtain microcredit. While rural women toil for many hours in their fields to provide for their family they are often undernourished as they are the last ones to eat.

The UN "Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women" is the only human rights instrument that specifically addresses this situation of rural women. Some progress is being made but it is slow.

The Millennium Development Goal 3 promotes Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. It is noted that to invest in the empowerment of women is to invest in all eight Millennium Development Goals. Women are recognised as the "Multipliers in Development".

During International Rural Women's Day 2010, ACWW encourages each member society, and each individual to remember your fellow rural women who are less fortunate. Let us commit to keeping our governments aware of the need for change in rural communities. Let us commit to supporting rural women and girls to reach their aspirations of education, proper nutrition, good health care and acceptance as full citizens.


The Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) is the largest International organisation of rural women and homemakers representing over 9 million members in over 70 countries worldwide. It aims to improve the standard and quality of life for its members, their families and communities, who are mainly dependent on agriculture for a living.