Celebrating International Day of Rural Women 2023

October 12, 2023

Rural women and girls around the world are the backbone of society.

Yet they account for the majority of the people living with chronic hunger in our world. At The Hunger Project, we believe that empowered women are key change agents in creating a world without hunger. That’s why all of our work starts with women. Studies show that when women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits. Their families are healthier, more children go to school, agricultural productivity improves and incomes increase. In short, communities become more resilient.

Our programs: 

Mobilize Indigenous Leaders

In Mexico, our programs focus on Indigenous communities facing patriarchal social structures that limit women’s access to critical resources and opportunities for self-expression. Our programs support women leaders to advocate for their own needs and resources for their communities. Within these communities, a remarkable “train the trainer” network has emerged, where women who have benefited from The Hunger Project’s support are now training and mentoring other women, thereby establishing new roles as leaders and contributors. 

Amplify Voices

In South Asia, our work focuses on strengthening local leaders’ capacities to collaborate with local and national governments so that they can lead initiatives that address the underlying causes of hunger in their communities, including limited access to education and entrepreneurship opportunities for women. 

In India, we provide skill development workshops tailored for women who have consistently been deprived of information, mobility and the opportunity to have a say in decision-making processes. Our efforts go hand in hand with female constituents, where we actively promote women’s participation in the electoral process and advocate for the election of female leaders to all positions within the panchayat (village council).

In Bangladesh, we have implemented the Unleashed Women’s Network, where over 12,000 women leaders are educated on a comprehensive set of gender issues. These leaders are uniquely equipped to be welcomed into conservative rural households and hold sensitive conversations about a woman’s role in society. 

Elevating Girls' Leadership

Around the world, we are partnering with girls living in rural communities to build, strengthen and expand their leadership. Today we are designing new initiatives by, for and with girls to catalyze change in the critical areas of social justice and equity, technology adoption, civic engagement, climate resilience, and government accountability.

Early marriage is one of the biggest risks for the health and well-being of rural girls around the world. Early marriage often leads to to early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupted schooling, and limited opportunities for career and vocational advancement. These are all underlying factors of chronic hunger. So, in India, Bangladesh, and Mexico we work with girls and women to end the culture of early marraige in their communities.

Engaging rural women in the design and implementation of solutions is essential to create a world without hunger. By partnering with local, women leaders, we are able to deeply understanding the local ecosystems, cultural traditions and socio-economic intricacies, and together, craft tailored interventions that prioritize the health, well-being and future of rural women.

Follow our social channels to learn more about our work with incredible women around the world!

Top Image: Fati from Burkina Faso, 2022. Photo taken for The Hunger Project by What Took You So Long 

Collage Image (Top Left to Bottom Right): Uganda (2019), India (2022), Ethiopia (2019), Mozambique (2022), Bangladesh (2019), Ethiopia (2019), Mozambique (2022), Mozambique (2022), Ethiopia (2019), Mexico (2019), Bangladesh (2022), Burkina Faso (2022), Bangladesh (2021), Uganda (2022), India (2020), Mexico (2019), India (2022), India (2019), Bangladesh (2021), Ghana (2019).