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Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the General Assembly delivers a message on the International Day of Rural Women
15 Oct 2020 -  On this International Day of Rural Women, we must take action, to build the resilience of rural women, in the wake of COVID-19. Earlier this month, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women. Despite gains made, women in rural areas, remain at a disadvantage, compared to their urban counterparts.

They continue to face persistent inequalities, discrimination and barriers, including: poverty; a lack of access to healthcare and critical infrastructure; as well as economic and political exclusion.

Rural women, are also among the first and worst affected by climate change, as they are on the frontlines of food security, through their key roles in agricultural production, land and resource management, and building climate resistance.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, women have shouldered, a disproportionate share of unpaid care and domestic work. Rural women, are further marginalised by the digital divide, as the global economic crisis, threatens to erode the progress, made by those first-generation rural women in the workforce.

We cannot allow COVID-19, to undermine the empowerment of women anywhere. I call on all Member States, to bring rural women into decision-making fora, so that our responses meet their specific needs. This is critical, in order to fully implement the Beijing Declaration, and Platform for Action, for every woman, everywhere.

Thank you.