October 15: International Day of Rural Women

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International Day of Rural Women

Every year on October 15, International Day of Rural Women is celebrated by the United Nations and many other international organizations. The day is celebrated to recognize the crucial role played by rural women and girls,
including indigenous females, in improving rural livelihoods and overall wellbeing. 

International Day of Rural Women 2020 – Theme

This year, the International Day of Rural Women is being celebrated under the theme “Building Rural Women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19″. As stated by the UN, the theme is to create awareness of the struggle of rural women, their needs, and their critical and key role in society.

International Day of Rural Women – Key Facts

  • The day focuses on the rural and indigenous female population and strives to improve rural development.
  • October 15 was marked as the International Day of Rural Women by the United Nations in 2007.
  • The day was celebrated for the first time in the year 2008.
  • As stated on the UN official website, females in rural areas lack equal access to public services such as health care and education, productive resources and assets, and infrastructure, including sanitation and water. There work is commendable, so the day is observed.
  • The UN Women, Food and Agriculture Organization and International Labour Organization support the measures to improve the lives of rural women globally.
  • The day appreciates the services of rural women.

Women Empowerment Schemes in India

Beti Bachao Beti Padao Scheme

  • The scheme was launched in 2015 to prevent gender-biased sex selection in educating children in India.
  • The scheme was launched to change the deep-rooted patriarchy in the societal system.
  • The overall goal of the Beti Bachao Beti Padao Scheme is to ensure the education of the girl child, prevent gender-biased sex-selective elimination and ensure survival and protection of the girl child in the country.
  • The scheme has two major components: Mass Communication Campaign and Multi-sectoral action in 100 selected districts (as a pilot) with adverse CSR, covering all States and UTs.

Reference: Beti Bachao Beti Padao website

Swadhar Greh Scheme

  • The scheme was launched in 2018.

Under the Scheme, Swadhar Greh will be set up in every district with a capacity of 30 women with the following objectives:

  • To cater to the primary need of shelter, food, clothing, medical treatment and care of the women in distress and who are without any social and economic support.
  • To enable them to regain their emotional strength that gets hampered due to their encounter with unfortunate circumstances.
  • To provide them with legal aid and guidance to enable them to take steps for their readjustment in family/society.
  • To rehabilitate them economically and emotionally.
  • To act as a support system that understands and meets various requirements of women in distress.
  • To enable them to start their life afresh with dignity and conviction.
  • It caters primary needs of women such as food, clothing, and medical treatment. It also provides legal aid to the women.

Reference: National Portal of India

One Stop Centre Scheme

  • The scheme was launched in 2015, with an aim to provide support to women that are affected by violence.
  • The scheme helps the female victims of sexual harassment, abuse, and other forms of violence to file FIR (First Information Report).
  • It also gives medical, legal, and rehabilitation and takes care of other needs of the victims in a single place.

Mahila Shakti Puraskar Scheme

  • This scheme was launched in the year 2016 to strengthen the role and place of women in society.
  • It promotes institutions to work towards women development in society.

Mahila E Haat

  • The Mahila E Haat scheme was launched in 2016, which aims to facilitate entrepreneurship opportunities for women.
  • It educates women on online selling and guides them on how to establish ventures on their own.

Wrapping Up

It is observed globally that rural women are contributing to shaping the laws, policies and programmes on issues affecting their lives. Despite facing the exclusion, poverty and discrimination, they have been playing a crucial role in society.

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