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Rural communities generally rely on agriculture, forestry, fisheries and livestock for their livelihoods.

©FAO/John Isaac

Rural men traditionally grow commercial crops and manage livestock.

©FAO/Florita Botts

Rural women grow and prepare most of the food consumed in the home. They raise small livestock, collect water and fuel and care for the children, the sick and the elderly.

©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Seventy percent of the world's poor live in rural areas.

©FAO/Walter Astrada

Many rural workers receive low earnings, live and work in precarious conditions and have little access to risk-coping mechanisms.

©FAO/Roberto Faidutti

When parents cannot produce or earn sufficient income to ensure their family’s livelihoods, their children are sent to work.

©FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri

Worldwide, 215 million boys and girls ages 5-17 are child labourers.

© K. Pratt

This hampers their access to quality employment later in life.

©FAO/Peter DiCampo

Rural women are particularly disadvantaged in access to quality and paid employment due to cultural norms, limited access to productive resources and time consuming domestic responsibilities.

©FAO/Issouf Sanogo

They are generally segmented into lower quality jobs and tend to earn less than men.

©FAO/Kai Wiedenhoefer

Insufficient income limits women’s ability to sustain their families’ well-being and support their communities.

©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Households and communities benefit when women have access to paid employment, translating in food security and social and economic growth.

C. Boonjarus

Better quality jobs and equal social protection and labour standards for women and men are key to decent work.

©FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri

Improving decent work opportunities in rural areas increases food security, reduces poverty and accelerates the economic growth and development of households, communities and nations.

©FAO/Caroline Thomas