In most developing countries, agriculture is still the most important source of employment for women in rural areas. Women are more likely than men to earn low-wages, to work part-time and seasonally, and they tend to be paid less than their male counterparts.
In Canada, rural women and girls experience difficulties with jobs and opportunities, unemployment, underemployment, education and training, transportation, and a variety of governing and corporate business practices that affect them in their everyday living and working.
- 43 % - percentage of the agricultural labour force who are women (overall in developing countries).
- 70% - percentage of employed women working in agriculture in South Asia and 60% in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- 20% - percentage of women who are land owners in developing countries.
- 15% - percentage of women who are land holders in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- 5% - (or less) percentage of women who own or control land and livestock in North Africa and West Asia. Land is the most important asset for people living in the rural area to support their families with nutrition and income security.
- 60% - percentage of women and girls in developing countries who are chronically hungry and live in poverty.
- 40 billion – the number of hours, per year, spent by women from Sub-Saharan Africa (collectively), collecting water.
- 2.8 million women live in rural Canada, while another 176,000 reside in remote areas. This represents almost 18% of total female population. Only 2% live on farm.
- Ontario has the largest rural population; approximately 19.4% are living in rural or remote areas.
- 47% of Aboriginal women in Canada live in rural areas. Out of all provinces, Ontario has the largest Aboriginal population.
- 29% of all agricultural operators in Ontario are female (as of 2006), an increase of 2% since 2001.
- 14% of rural women work in non-farm self-employment. Unemployment rates are much higher among rural women, even though at the national level women tend to do much better than men in terms of employment.
- Rural women are more likely to work part-time and seasonally than their urban counterparts.
- Only 20% of self-employed rural women earn an income of $20,000 or more, compared to 31% of self-employed urban women and 43% of self-employed rural men.
- Women living in the rural areas are less likely to qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) or EI funded training because they tend to be self-employed or work part-time or seasonally.
- Travel is a central challenge for rural Canadians, who face far higher travel costs than urban Canadians. Only 15% of rural women in Ontario who have poor or intermittent access to transportation are employed and almost half (44%) of these women have incomes less than $10,000.
According to 2011 Census, approximately 6.3 million Canadians were living in rural areas;
(rural - areas with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants and a population density below 400 people per square kilometre).
Source: United Nations: WomenWatch/Rural Women; Census 2006; 2011; Rural Women Making Change – University of Guelph