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Rural women over the world often live and toil in obscurity. This day is dedicated to honoring them for their lives of dedication to family, community, and care for earth, our common home. Unfortunately, rural women still face many stigmas and myths that restrict their participation in decision-making, both within civil society and even within their own homes. Girls and women in rural communities often lack access to education, sanitation, healthcare, legal and inheritance rights and critical public services that can greatly enhance their quality of life. In order for communities to flourish in these rural areas, it is essential for women to have all the resources needed to live up to their fullest potential. These women are responsible for agricultural production in many of the world’s poorest areas, as well as bearing the responsibility for raising children and caring for animals that sustain their lives. In order to lift families and communities out of poverty, rural women must be given full and equal status with men in making decisions that affect them and their families and communities.

God, we thank you for the many gifts that rural women bring to our world. Their knowledge of earth and how to live in harmony with nature can teach us many lessons about our place within the web of life. Their strength and determination inspire us to action. May we continue to work for justice for rural women so that every woman can contribute fully to her family, community and the world.