Annual Celebration of International Day of Rural Women – October 15th

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Rural women make more than a quarter of the world population, contributing to the well being of their families and development of rural economies therefore playing a key role in food production and food security. The idea of Rural Women’s Day began at the 4th  UN Conference on Women held in Beijing in September 1995.  The following organizations proposed the recognition of the Rural Women’s Day – The International Federation of Agricultural Producers, Associated Country Women of the World, Network of African Rural Women Associations, and, the Women’s World Summit Foundation. 15th October is the Internationally recognized Rural Women’s day. The event is organized in recognition and support of the multiple roles of rural women.

Why Rural Women?

Rural women live in rural, remote areas, many times lack education, face language barriers and have to manage amidst profound isolation, because they only understand their mother tongue. They are subjected to heavy workload due to lack of basic neccessities like clean water and sanitation, cheap and clean cooking fuels as they depend on fire wood, availability of child care support, protection against domestic and societal violence. Entrenched gender roles make rural women vulnerable especially in regard to ownership of land or property, inheritance rights, access to credit, technology and markets.

In the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW),Article 14:Government will ensure that the particular needs of Rural women are met in relation to access to services , training and employment opportunities and social equity schemes, and act to eliminate discrimination against them.

To what extent is the government implementing this article? 

The National Association of Women Organisations in Uganda ( NAWOU) has over the years recognized the day under various international and national themes in order to draw attention to the plight of rural women. Some of the previous themes include,


1998    Human Rights for All Rural Women

2000    Celebrating Bi-diversity – Rural Women’s Role in Promoting

Democracy  and Good Governance in Uganda

2002    Break the Silence: Stop Violence Against Women

2006    International theme- Claim your Fundamental, inalienable right

to adequate housing, Uganda Theme – Fight All Forms of Poverty

2007    The Right to Food: Rural Women Produce and Provide

2008    Climate Change: Rural Women are part of the Solution

2009    Rural Women at the Heart of Innovation

2010    Was a year to launch the Africa Women’s Decade in Nairobi on the

theme – Grass root Approach to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.

2011    Claim Your Right to Land and Inheritance

This year, the new district of Kiryandongo has invited NAWOU to hold celebrations at Bweyale Primary School in Bweyale Town Council – Uganda.


For more information about this event,

Please contact,

Peace T. Kyamureku

Secretary General

National Association of Women Organisations in Uganda.