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Minister marks World Rural Women’s Day

15 October, 2007

Marking World Rural Women's Day Sinn Fein Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has praised the work of rural women and encouraged them to become actively involved in the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme.

World Rural Women's Day provides recognition and support for the multiple roles of rural women who make up more than a quarter of the world population.

On World Rural Women's Day the Minister highlighted the important role of rural women in today's society.

She said: "World Rural Women's Day is the universal day that connects all women who live in rural areas around the world and inspires them to achieve their full potential. It is an important day for rural women as it celebrates the fact that as well as contributing to the wellbeing of their families, rural women play a vital role in the development of rural economies.

"My department is committed to improving the quality of rural life. For example the provision of accessible, affordable childcare facilities for people in rural communities is something that is long overdue. This is something that would not only make a major impact on women but on the economic, social and well being of all families with young children.

"The new Rural Development Programme will also provide the opportunity for significant investment in rural areas to make them better places for everyone to live and work. Women can make a positive and significant contribution by playing an active part in identifying what is needed at a local level.

"I am committed to vibrant, sustainable, rural communities of which women are the backbone. Those who need further encouragement should get it from not only my department but across government." ENDS


  1. The idea of a World Rural Women's Day to be devoted each year to honour rural women began at a UN Conference for Women in Beijing in September 1995. The International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP), Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW), Network of African Rural Women Associations (NARWA), and the Women's World Summit Foundation (WWSF) were the main proponents of the day. Because of the key role women play in food production and food security, it was decided that the World Rural Women's Day fall on the 15 October - the day before the World Food Day.
  2. There are four main axes of the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme:
    Improving the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sector;
    - Improving the environment and the countryside;
    - The quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy.
    - Implementation of the Leader approach - locally based delivery for some measures.

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