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Sr Jessy Maria wins WWSF Prize for Women's Creativity in Rural Life



This International Day of Rural Women, we honour Sr Jessy Maria - 2021 winner of the WWSF Prize for Women's Creativity in Rural Life.


Arise nominated Sr Jessy Maria for this award. One that, though she would never say it herself, she emulates in every aspect of her personal and professional life.

Sr Jessy Maria is 50 years old. For the last 30 years, since 1991, she has been working to improve the lives of rural people in Jharkhand, India. Her work is person-focused, environment-conscious and led by her unwavering belief in human dignity.


Read our full nomination letter.



WWSF Prize for Women's Creativity in Rural Life


The WWSF “Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life” (created in 1994 at the Beijing 4th World Conference on Women), annually awards creative and courageous rural women leaders and groups that help to advance and improve the quality of life in rural communities. To date, 472 prizes have been awarded in over 140 countries to selected candidates.


Learn more about the award and view the 10 laureates for 2021.



International Day of Rural Women


The UN's International Day of Rural Women was co-created by WWSF in 1995 at the Beijing 4th World Conference on Women.


'Achieving gender equality and empowering women is not only the right thing to do but is a critical ingredient in the fight against extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition.


On average, women make up more than 40 percent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries.Yet they face significant discrimination when it comes to land and livestock ownership, equal pay, participation in decision-making entities, and access to resources, credit and market for their farms to flourish.'


The theme for this International Day of Rural Women (15 October), “Rural Women Cultivating Good Food for All”, highlights the essential role that rural women and girls play in the food systems of the world.

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