Imelda Lacandazo, From Philippines, Addresses The Press In Sao Paolo

During our discussions and when sharing experiences, we learned that Asian women, especially peasant women, have common issues like discrimination, especially with regard to salaries. Some women, farm workers, earn only 80 Filipinos pesos a day, equivalent to US$ 1.5.
The same in Malaysia, the same in India: women have the same experience. That is why women in Asia are very active in participating in the struggle about land reform, a genuine land reform programme means land for the women.

Women in Asia, especially peasant women, are also actively participating in the struggle to promote sustainable agriculture because we want land and food without poison.

Through our work in the International Rice Research Institute based in Laguna, we know that a lot of peasant women are suffering from sickness, like skin diseases, blood cancer, kidney failure and some have already died as a direct result of the effects of pesticides used in the rice fields.
So women in Asia propose that the campaigning work of the International Rice Research Institute is globalised. Peasant women in Asia are also struggling to ban GMOs, like hybrid rice.

We are actively involved in the struggle of agrarian cases, because some cases in Asian countries are criminal cases such the case of the Mamburao Saga farm in the Occidental Mindor region . Six farmers are already wrongly detained, they were fighting a struggle against a despotic land owner Ricardo Quintos but they are already wrongly put to jail because they charged with murder. So now the six wives and mothers of these six farmers are the ones who shoulder the need to grow and feed their children.

So we hope that an outcome of this assembly, is to elaborate a common proposal or plan of action on issues common to of all women in Asia, not only in Asia… the struggle must be globalised.

So I think right now, we should on call all the women’s organisations to organise, we must unite our organisations to all sectors like youth sector, indigenous sector, women and all farmers and farm workers in order to promote a genuine land reform programme and then promoting the food sovereignty and in banning the GMOs and then we must unite; unite together in action! Thank you!