As part of the activities related to the ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women’, eight LVC organizations in Southern and Eastern Africa promoted activities to reflect on the topic, from the perspective of peasant women
On November 25th, the ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women’ is celebrated. Across the world, member organizations of La Via Campesina denounced the forms of violence suffered by women around the world, as part of the struggles against capitalism, patriarchy, racism, colonialism and the advance of fascism. Along the path of this global movement, the regions of Southern and Eastern Africa also counted on actions carried out by eight organizations affiliated with Via Campesina. The impacts of the high cost of living, the accumulation of work inside and outside home, discrimination and different types of violence that affect the daily lives of peasant women in these territories were discussed. The events included marches, conversation circles, workshops, fairs and much more.
In Kenya, the Kenyan Peasants League (KPL) organized a public meeting with the aim of raising awareness among the farming community about the use of chemical pesticides banned in the country. The Migori Rescue Center was also launched there, where women facing violence are now able to stay while they seek justice, with the support of KPL.
South African organizations also promoted activities to combat violence against women. Among them, actions by the Landless Peoples Movement (LPM) highlighted the importance of men to look for professional help rather than murdering women when they face challenges in their families. In the same theme of male awareness, during a virtual event on December 13, 2023 promoted by the LVC Southern Eastern Africa (SEAf) the same tone, Susan Mboniswa, from the Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign (FSC) stated: “we are wives, but not slaves”.
The Virtual Session concluded the LVC SEAf’s 2023 Campaign to Eliminate Violence Against Women. During the dialogue, assessments were made of the cycle of actions undertaken by LVC members in the region between the end of November and the beginning of December 2023. The conversation included also a brief feedback on the participation of some representatives of these institutions, during the 6th International Assembly of Women, held in Bogotá, on December 2nd. Enthusiastically, the group celebrated the election of the African continent to host the next International Conference of Via Campesina, to be promoted in the next four years.
The other organizations that are part of the territory covered by LVC SEAf, which made up the virtual meeting, were the following: União Nacional de Camponeses (UNAC) – Mozambique; Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA) – Tanzania; Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF) – Zimbabwe; Confédération Paysanne du Congo (COPACO) – Congo; and Eastern and Southern Africa Small-scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF) – Uganda. The latter even launched a podcast especially to raise awareness of the dangers and effects of violence against women and girls.
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