In Focus: International Day of Rural Women

A woman in Cameroon. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

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This year on International Day of Rural Women (15 October), we’re celebrating the vital role that rural women play in climate action with a spotlight on “Rural women and girls building resilience” theme.

Happy International Rural Women's Day

As the world faces an increasingly critical need to address climate change, the important impact that rural women and girls have on building resilience is undeniable.

It will take not only leaders, but whole populations to make the changes for a carbon-neutral world.

Rural women and girls are leaders in agriculture, food security and nutrition, land, managing natural resource management and unpaid and domestic care work. They are at the frontline when natural resources and agriculture are threatened. In fact, globally, one in three employed women works in agriculture. Women also collect biomass fuels, manually process food materials, and pump water; eighty percent of households without piped water rely on women and girls for water collection.

World leaders have committed to gender equality in climate change policy and response, yet progress has still been slow.

On the International Day of Rural Women, UN Women is calling for action to support rural women and girls and grow their capacities to respond to climate change through agricultural production, food security, and natural resources management.

Top stories



Rural women—agents of change fighting poverty, hunger and climate change


Social media

  • Use #ruralwomen on social media to show the world that you stand in solidarity with rural women and their organizations everywhere as they seek to influence the decisions that shape their lives.
  • Spread the message with GIFs, infographics and other visuals that you can download from our social media package with images and messages in English, Spanish and French, available here.

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See our coverage of International Day for Rural Women from previous years: 201820172016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011