International Day of Rural Women 2021: Overcoming pandemic and climate challenges

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The International Day of Rural Women (Oct. 15) was established more than a decade ago to recognize the central role of women in improving rural development and food security. It was placed directly before World Food Day (Oct. 16) to highlight women’s key roles in agricultural production, in food processing and marketing, as well as in the preparation of healthy, nutritious and sustainable meals for their families.

Rural women are facing a number of pressing challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the intensifying impacts of climate change, that hinder their economic empowerment and efforts to achieve gender equality—goals inextricably linked to women’s ability to “Cultivate Good Food for All,” this year’s IDRW motto. The World Economic Forum (2021) estimates that the time needed to close the global gender gap increased from 99.5 years to 135.6 years due to the pandemic. Food insecurity has also dramatically increased in many parts of the world as a result of COVID-19.

Photo credit: Hasan Hüseyin/BİRLİK/UNDP

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