INTERNATIONAL DAY OF RURAL WOMEN: OCTOBER 15, 2015

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF RURAL WOMEN

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Rural Women celebrates and honors the role of rural women on October 15 each year. It recognizes rural women’s importance in enhancing agricultural and rural development worldwide.

A fair trade coffee farmer picking organic coffee beans from the tree.
Rural women are honored worldwide on the International Day of Rural Women.
©iStockphoto.com/ranplett

What Do People Do?

Many people, government agencies, community groups and non-government associations celebrate the International Day of Rural Women on October 15 every year. Television, radio, online, and print media broadcast or publish special features to promote the day. Panel discussions, research papers, and conferences are also held to review and analyze rural women’s role in society, particularly in areas such as economic improvement and agricultural development.

Other activities and events held to promote the day include:

  • Global exchange programs for women in agriculture.
  • The launch of fundraising projects to support rural women.
  • Expos and workshops showcasing rural women’s contribution to their societies.
  • Strategic meetings to present issues on topics, such as empowering women farmers, to policy makers.

Some world leaders inspired by this initiative previously proclaimed October 15 as International Rural Women’s Day, drawing special focus on the role of rural women in their countries.

Public Life

The International Day of Rural Women is a global observance and is not a public holiday.

Background

The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on October 15, 2008. This day recognizes the role of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.

The idea of honoring rural women with a special day was put forward at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995. It was suggested that October 15 be celebrated as “World Rural Women’s Day,” which is the eve of World Food Day, to highlight rural women’s role in food production and food security. “World Rural Women’s Day” was previously celebrated across the world for more than a decade before it was officially a UN observance.

Symbols

Images of rural woman from different parts of the world are shown in news features and promotional material, including posters, pamphlets, newsletters and other publications on the International Day of Rural Women.

The UN logo is also associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in black against a white background.

Note: The International Day of Rural Women was first celebrated as an official UN observance on October 15, 2008. However, many people around the world celebrated this day in previous years.

International Day of Rural Women Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Fri Oct 15 2010 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Sat Oct 15 2011 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Mon Oct 15 2012 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Tue Oct 15 2013 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Wed Oct 15 2014 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Thu Oct 15 2015 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Sat Oct 15 2016 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Sun Oct 15 2017 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Mon Oct 15 2018 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Tue Oct 15 2019 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Thu Oct 15 2020 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance

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