International Day of Rural Women is being observed today (Tuesday).
The theme of the Day this year is Rural Women and Girls Building Climate Resilience.
In his message, on the occasion the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in the new era of agricultural techniques, first responders in crises and entrepreneurs of green energy, rural women are a powerful force that can drive global progress.
The crucial role that women and girls play in ensuring the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and overall well being, has been increasingly recognized.
Women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labor force, including informal work, and perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within families and households in rural areas.
They make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience.
Women and girls in rural areas suffer disproportionately from multi-dimensional poverty.
While extreme poverty has declined globally, the world’s 1 billion people who continue to live in unacceptable conditions of poverty are heavily concentrated in rural areas.
Poverty rates in rural areas across most regions are higher than those in urban areas.
Yet smallholder agriculture produces nearly 80 per cent of food in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and supports the livelihoods of some 2.5 billion people.
Women farmers may be as productive and enterprising as their male counterparts, but are less able to access land, credit, agricultural inputs, markets and high-value agrifood chains and obtain lower prices for their crops.