#GROW Week day one: International Day of Rural Women

Welcome to day one of GROW week! Today we are celebrating The International Day of Rural Women. Every day for the next seven days, we will keep you updated on events happening all over the world, to coincide with GROW week and World Food Day (October 16).

Around the world, women are being celebrated as food producers in exciting ways. More than a third of the world's female workforce is engaged in agriculture, while in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, more than 60 per cent of all female employment is in this sector.

They might form the backbone of agriculture, but women farmers still do not have equal rights to those of men and face many challenges. In many countries, women may be responsible for most of the food production, but only make up 10-20% of landowners. They are also particularly vulnerable to issues within the broken food system, like climate change.

In Tanzania, rural women work four hours longer per week than their male counterparts. In most parts of Tanzania women participate in crop production and livestock care, while carrying out home tasks like providing food, water and fuel for their families and caring for children, the elderly and the sick.

Tanzania's Female Food Heroine Award 2011

Today (October 15), on the eve of World Food Day, three outstanding women will be crowned female food heroines in Tanzania to highlight and celebrate the role played by rural women in food production. There were 6000 applicants and 10,000 votes. The award recognises and celebrates the outstanding contribution women make to food security in Tanzania.

Read more about the Female Food Heroine Award and the finalists

Seminar on food sovereignty and rural women in Guatemala

In Guatemala City on October 14, over 100 rural women and farmers, as well as representatives of all the country's indigenous peoples, gathered to reflect on the challenges facing rural women, under one slogan:

"Women have the right to land and natural resources!"

Read more about action in Guatemala

Women climate change warriors in Bolivia

How can we support small-scale farmers and women producers without being criticised as romantic and unrealistic? The Oxfam campaign team in Bolivia faces these challenges in campaigning for food justice. They came up with the slogan of 'climate change warriors' after speaking to women from the Amazon Basin about how they saw their future.

Read more about women climate change warriors in Bolivia

In Latin America, rural women rock our world!

As part of Rural Women's Day celebrations, a photo stunt is taking place across Latin and South America today (October 15), to bring recognition to women who play an integral part in food production all over the world. In eight countries on the continent – from Paraguay in the south to Mexico in the north, women will unveil banners with slogans like 'we produce food' and 'we transform the world'.

Read more about the photo stunt in Latin America

Women march for land rights in El Salvador

On October 10, 250 women marched to the Legislative Assembly in San Salvador in support of better rights to land, investment and justice. The Economic and Agriculture Commission granted them a one hour long meeting, in which they voiced the main concern: the approval of a new Law on Food Security and Sovereignty, with a gender perspective.

Read more about action in El Salvador

Coming up: World Food Day events from around the world, the crowning of the Female Food Heroine in Tanzania and pictures from the photo stunt in Latin America.

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