A Month of Multiple Celebrations of Women and Girls. By Ayo OGUNTOLA
There are notable dates that have been specifically dedicated to celebrating Women/Girls,
(Female Gender) in different capacities, in a bid to ensure Fairness, Inclusion and Welfare. It is worth noting that the month of October comes with some of these notable events, such as the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE CHILD and the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF RURAL WOMEN.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE CHILD - OCTOBER 11
International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations; it is also called the Day of Girls and the International Day of the Girl. October 11, 2012, was the first Day of the Girl Child. The observation supports more opportunities for girls and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based on their gender. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and forced child marriage.
The celebration of the day also reflects the successful emergence of girls and young women as a distinct cohort in development policy, programming, campaigning and research.
International Day of the Girl increases awareness of issues faced by girls around the world such as household chores, sexual violence, forced child marriage and so on.
It is important to note that in the last 10 years, the international day of the girl child has paid attention to the challenges that girl child faces in education and their overall physical and mental well-being. It has also highlighted the power and strength of girls when given the appropriate skills and opportunities.
The theme for the 2022 celebration is “Our Time Is Now – Our Rights, Our Future.”
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF RURAL WOMEN -15 OCTOBER
International Day of Rural Women is on October 15. This day is dedicated to the millions of women living in remote, rural places and celebrates the achievements and contributions of these women towards rural development and agriculture.
International Day of Rural Women focuses on gender equality and women empowerment in rural areas. These women include mothers, daughters, and grandmothers in rural areas who contribute by producing food and building agricultural and rural development worldwide.
In 1995, during the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, the idea of empowering and honouring women was put forward. Since October 16 was celebrated as World Food Day, it was suggested that October 15 be celebrated as International Day of Rural Women to appreciate the contribution of rural women in agriculture, food production, and food safety.
Achieving gender equality and empowering women is not only the right thing to do but is a critical ingredient in the fight against extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition, hence, it is aimed at “giving women the same opportunities as men could rise agricultural production by 2.5 to 4 per cent in the poorest regions and the number of malnourished people could be reduced by 12 to 17 per cent.”
We often ignore or forget about the struggles faced by rural women thus this is a way to appreciate their hard work and contributions to the development of rural communities.
Furthermore, it also reminds the rural women that they are not alone and they can always ask for a helping hand. There are millions of women in remote rural areas who need our help but cannot ask for it or do not have the means. We can help these women in various ways from basic amenities to financial aid.
Similarly, it is a reminder to fight against stereotypes and help women break gender and social norms. We need to be the way to provide strength to these women fighting against prejudices and stereotypes. We need to help them move on from social discrimination and barriers.
Therefore, the world cannot become progressive if rural society is ignored and left behind, hence, let us ensure we celebrate our women in rural and local communities, particularly those who are farmers or into animal husbandry; most of them dedicate their time, money, labour, sweat and blood to promote agriculture so humans will not starve of hunger.
The theme for International Day of Rural Women 2022 is "Rural Women, key for a world free from hunger and poverty." The theme focuses on equality and women's empowerment and wants women to fight against the problems of hunger and malnutrition.
From every team member of AGTRC, we recognize the importance of the female gender in contemporary society, therefore, we join the global community to celebrate our women today, particularly, the ones in rural communities promoting agriculture and food production in different parts of the world. We wish them well and we say thank you.