08 March 2020: La Via Campesina releases illustrations amplifying the voices and demands of rural women

On the occasion of the International Day of Women, La Via Campesina has launched a series of illustrations under the banner Peasant and Rural Women with Rights.

Ten visually powerful sketches illustrated by Artist Carlos Julio from Argentina explore the role played by peasant women in food production. They also amplify the voices of rural women and reasserts their demands for an equal, dignified life.

This work takes its inspiration from the ‘UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas’ (UNDROP), which was officially adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018. For over a decade, rural and indigenous communities had patiently negotiated for a global Declaration of this kind. The Declaration promotes the rights of millions of small-scale food producers, who feed nearly seventy per-cent of the world’s population despite having access to barely a quarter of the world’s arable land.

These illustrations particularly seek to highlight the rights of rural peasant women as cited in the Declaration – by promoting equal ownership over territories and resources; calling for better healthcare systems in rural areas and better infrastructure and education facilities; echoing the demands for fair wages; highlighting the immense contribution made by women workers and peasants in peasant food production. These works of art are also an expression of resistance against patriarchy and all forms of violence against women and people of diverse gender. These illustrations also call for an end to the use of toxic agrochemicals in the fields, which poses huge health risks to food producers.

Through these sketches, La Via Campesina once again calls for the promotion of the rights of people to produce and consume healthy and locally produced food. It also aims to promote training and mobilisation actions for our member organizations as well as for allied organizations and civil society on the issue. This provides necessary elements for the development of public policies with dignity and social justice. During the year, La Via Campesina will launch more such materials that would help popularise the contents of the Declaration among rural communities.