India’s No.1 Corporate Social Responsibility Magazine since 2013 | RNI No. DELENG/2013/49640



Rural Women Take Centerstage 15TH October earmarked as the International Day of Rural Women!

The critical role of rural women and their contribution to enhancing rural development and agriculture is the underlying celebratory tone of the 15th of October. This section of women plays an important role in eradicating poverty and providing food security. With an improvement in the lives of rural women, the chances of emerging victorious in the fight against hunger and poverty are very high.

Providing the same and equal opportunities to women as men will see the number of malnourished people dip from 17 % to 12 %. Agricultural production too would rise from 2.5 % to 4 % as per an estimate. The women from the fields bring their experience which will be beneficial for improving the conditions of the women smallholders.

The latest FAO report mentions how rural women can play a crucial role in agricultural as well as nonagricultural engagements. The agrifood systems can develop better and economies can also take a turn for the better. The gender disparity in the agrifood systems exposes women disproportionately to nutritional and food insecurity, lack of money, and job opportunities. These women are employed in various job roles such as – wage laborers, retailers, farmers, entrepreneurs, and many other diverse roles. There is a dire need to eliminate the gender gap in agriculture as women play a very crucial role in our food systems.

The theme for the 15th of October emphasizes the vital role played by rural women and girls in the food systems of the world. The theme was “Rural Women Cultivating Good Food for All.” Women’s labor whether paid or unpaid is instrumental right from the production of crops to processing, preparing, and distributing foods. They feed their families their respective communities and the world.

There is however a disparity in their income as compared to men, as they earn less, do not wield the same amount of power, and as a result, these suffer from food insecurity. It is indeed alarming to note that despite our planet having adequate food resources, malnourishment, hunger, and food insecurity are showing a sharp rise in many parts of the world. The recent pandemic, COVID-19 – 19 unleashed a climate crisis where 2.37 billion people did not have enough food.

The latest UN Women’s report “Beyond COVID-19: A feminist plan for sustainability and social justice “seeks the rebuilding of the broken global food system by supporting the livelihood of rural women by producing and distributing a variety of healthy food crops. With limited time on hand to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals Namely Goal 2 – Zero Hunger and Goal 5 – Gender Equality, rural women and girls from all over the world are being supported by UN Women to enhance their skills, resilience, and leadership. A close look at the rural women workforce in India shows a sharp rise, especially in nonmanual or service-oriented jobs.

The LFPR (Labor Force Participation Rate) in India for rural women was 24.6 percent in 2017-18 but shot up to 41.5 percent in 2022- 23. However, it is much lower than 49.4 percent in 2004-05. During the same duration, the unemployment rate also fell. It fell from 3.8 percent to 1.8 percent between the financial years 2018 and 2023 for rural women. Due to the shrinking of the agrarian economy, there was a shift towards industrial jobs by men.

Women stayed back owing to multiple reasons like poor education, the load of household responsibilities, and taking care of children. However, as the education of women improved, they started joining the workforce. Initiatives centering around the empowerment of rural women are brought into focus on this special day that is dedicated to their well-being!


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this section and articles contributed are those of the respective authors, who have submitted it as their original work. They do not reflect the opinions or views of CSR Times, or its employees, management and group publications. The accuracy and reliability of information presented has not been verified by CSR Times. CSR Times will not be held responsible in any way for the content of this article.






Scroll to Top