Women’s Struggle: for Food Sovereignty; against violence and agribusiness

Afiche 8 de Marzo LVC 2015 EN - Web.jpg(Harare, March 8th, 2015) Today, March 8th, International Women’s Day, the Via Campesina calls for the coordination of actions to highlight the fundamental role played by women in guaranteeing Food Sovereignty – not only as a means of confronting the food crisis but as an essential ethical principle that has as its basis social justice and equality. On this day of struggle, we denounce the prevailing violence, against women specifically, because the agribusiness model and capitalist interests in the countryside have exacerbated social and gender inequalities.

It is in this way that we struggle against patriarchy, which affects all aspects of our lives within our families, our organisations and communities and all that has to do with our gender and our sexuality. We also express our condemnation of feminicide, the murder of millions of girl children and women in all parts of the world, and we stand in solidarity with all the people who suffer discrimination and violence because of their gender and/or sexual identity.

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There is no Agroecology without Women

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_Nyeleni_agroecolgy_38.jpgMali, Sélingue, February 25, 2015 – Although men still have the most privileges with regard to access to land, credits and other agricultural inputs, one cannot speak of agroecology without women. Women play an important role in the food production all over the world, thus there is no people´s Agroecology without a central and leadership role for women.

This was the reason why in the afternoon of the first day of the International Forum on Agroecology taking place in Sélingue, Mali (24-27 March), more than 60 women from Africa, Asia, Americas and Europe decided to convene a parallel “women space” to have a common understanding on the significance of their work as peasants, fisherfolks or pastoralists. Nandini Jairam, a peasant farmer from Karnataka, India said “it is thus essential that women discuss and exchange their experiences and challenges among themselves in order to have a clear understanding of the value of their valuable work”.

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“Be Proud to Become a Farmwoman!” say Elizabeth Mpofu

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-Germany-farm-visit.JPG(Germany,Teisendorf, January 21, 2014)(al) It is certainly not an everyday occurrence, that a woman from Zimbabwe, who runs a small farm in that country, congratulates a young woman from Bavaria for her decision to also run a small farm and tells her to be proud of that decision.  Elizabeth Mpofu is, however, not an everyday woman, but the general secretary of the worldwide peasant organization “Via Campesina”, an association of more than 160 independent peasant organizations in 63 countries.  Mpofu has experienced on her own body and in her own mind, what it means to want to be a small-farmer.  She and her husband work on their plot of about ten hectares in the South-East-African Country.  The difficulties, that she has had and still has to overcome, not only in an economic way, in the pursuance of her profession as a farmer, are at least as great, as those facing a young farm-woman in Bavaria.

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Femicide and Impunity: A humanitarian crisis in Central America, and a growing problem worldwide

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_women_photo8scaled.jpgEl Salvador has had the highest rate of femicide in the world, with 2, 250 femicides between 2010 and 2013. Guatemala has the third and Honduras the seventh highest rate of femicides.   In Guatemala, only 2% of murdered women's cases were investigated in 2013 and likewise in Honduras less than 2% were investigated.  For cases that somehow make it to court in Guatemala, 90% of defendants are not convicted. It is much the same in El Salvador.  In 2014 alone, between January and October, over 300  bodies of young women between the ages of 12 and 18 years old have been found in unmarked common  graves.

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