International Day of Rural Women recognises the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty, according to the United Nations.

The day was first observed on 15 October 2008 and seeks to highlight the important role that rural women and girls play in society.

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.

Rural Women and Girls Building Climate Resilience

The rural community of Mzinyathi in KwaZulu Natal is one of many which rely on crop farming to sustain a form of living. Sakina Kamwendo visits the area on International Day of Rural Women to find out how the community women make a difference.


The Contribution of Rural Women to Agricultural Development

Women in the rural area of Mzinyathi in KwaZulu Natal sustain their lives through crop farming. They share their daily challenges, including climate change and lack of agricultural tools.


Farmers express their concerns to Social Dev. MEC Nonhlahla Khoza

The Social Development MEC for KwaZulu-Natal, Nonhanhla Khoza, is in Mzinyathi to hear the women farmers’ grievances.


Women in the Business of Bee Farming

A group of women from Zibungu in the Eastern Cape explain how they got started with bee farming and describe their hopes for its future in the area.


Women in agriculture making a difference in rural areas

Small scale farmers and producers have played a key role in ensuring food security in South Africa’s rural areas.

Observing International Day of Rural Women

We take a look at a woman-owned brick manufacturing company near Kuruman in the Northern Cape.

Marking International Day of Rural Women with Sizani Ngubane

Despite women accounting for 60% to 80% of smallholder farmers in the developing world, fewer than 20% are actually landholders.