The first United Nations International Day of Rural Women was observed on October 15, 2008. This day, established by the General Assembly, recognizes “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.”
Rural women play a critical role in the rural economies of both developed and developing countries. In most parts of the developing world they participate in crop production and livestock care, provide food, water and fuel for their families, and engage in off-farm activities to diversify their families’ livelihoods. In addition, they carry out vital functions in caring for children, older persons and the sick.