Samoa celebrates International Day for Rural Women


Samoa has joined the globe to celebrate the International Day for Rural Women, which officially commenced on Monday 16th – Friday 20th October 2023.

The theme for “International Day for Rural Women” 2023 is, Financing for Rural Women’s empowerment – celebrating and honoring rural women and girls and their role in the world’s food systems.

From the production of crops to processing, preparing, and distributing foods, women’s labor -paid and unpaid – feeds their families, communities, and the world. 

Yet the cost-of-living crisis continues to increase and intensified gender disparities globally, though less than 15% of landholders worldwide are women, leading to an increase in the gender gap in food security. 

Women – particularly rural women – are already disproportionately affected by poverty, climate change, food insecurity and poor access to healthcare.  This has affected women generally, but especially rural women.

Rural women are the backbone of Samoa’s agriculture. They produce over 80% of the food on small farms. However, 40% of women working in subsistence agriculture are below the BNPL.

In Northwest Upolu, the rate is higher, with 70% of women below the BNPL (Basic Needs Poverty Line). In its efforts to address this, UN Women, in partnership with the Government of Samoa under its Markets for Change project, is facilitating a 4-day workshop, “Getting Started,” from Monday 16th – Thursday 19th October 2023, for 45 market vendors from Upolu and Savaii.