The theme of this year’s International Mountain Day (IMD) on 11 December will be Women move mountains.

Women play a key role in mountains’ environmental protection and social and economic development. They are often the primary managers of mountain resources, guardians of biodiversity, keepers of traditional knowledge, custodians of local culture, and experts in traditional medicine.

Increasing climate variability, coupled with a lack of investment in mountain agriculture and rural development, has often pushed men to migrate elsewhere in search of alternative livelihoods. Women have therefore taken on many tasks formerly done by men, yet mountain women are often invisible due to a lack of decision-making power and unequal access to resources.

As farmers, market sellers, businesswomen, artisans, entrepreneurs, and community leaders, mountain women and girls, in particular in rural areas, have the potential to be major agents of change. When rural women have access to resources, services, and opportunities, they become a driving force against hunger, malnutrition, and rural poverty and are active in the development of mountain economies.

International Mountain Day 2022 is an opportunity to promote gender equality and therefore contribute to improving social justice, livelihoods and resilience.

In the coming months, FAO, leading UN agency for this International Day, will prepare communication materials in all six UN languages, which will be available on their website.

While Women move mountains is the suggested theme for 2022, countries, communities, and organizations are welcome to celebrate IMD through a theme that is more relevant to them.

Celebrate this International Day 2022 with your community and friends preparing an event or joining the conversation on social media using the hashtag #MountainsMatter. Pass on some of the key messages, or share about the important role of women in mountains, or post, or a photo of your favorite mountain.