Karnataka Women making inroads into the Farmers' Movement

2016-10-18-KRRS Women.jpgWomen members of Karnataka Rajya Raita Sangha (KRRS) are increasingly coming to the forefront of the farmers' movement in the State.

KRRS women are coming to the forefront of the farmer’s movement. "We don't want a 'women's wing', or a 'women's section' inside KRRS. Such so called 'wings' become nothing more than a group upon which women's issues are piled upon; ignored for all other decisions. We want equal participation in the state committee leadership, it is the only way. We already have many strong women leaders and thousands of women in the grassroots, it's time to make it official", paraphrased Chukki Nanjundaswamy from the proceedings of women's meeting in Bangalore on 15 October.

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Opinion: Agroecology for gender equality

2016-02-03-Elizabeth Mpofu.jpgFarming Matters | 32.3 | September 2016

How to attribute important social change to agroecology? Elizabeth Mpofu argues that agroecology builds social cohesion, providing the foundation for gender equality.

There are no recipes in agroecology. Instead, its manual is in the heart and minds of those who practice it, which is evident in their interactions with the environment and other people. Harmony with nature and nutrition takes precedence over profits. This anchors our culture, shapes our identity and sets the parameters for our transformation as a society.

Personally agroecology has enabled me to learn from other women and to promote and create awareness about women’s issues. Through agroecology, women have contributed to shaping a society and healthy communities based on justice and solidarity. This society is able to withstand and adapt to an ever changing environment – socially, politically and economically.

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Opinion: Women farm through knowledge sharing

2016-03-28-Eliz Mpofu.pngFirst published in Farming Matters | 32.1 | March 2016

In an attempt to solve problems, people collectively ask questions and discuss and implement solutions. Elizabeth Mpofu describes how knowledge co-creation is commonplace in the lives of people and in agroecology. From these processes, social, political, and practical innovations emerge.

Learning is a lifetime activity. Nowhere is this clearer than in agriculture, and especially among women farmers. Being responsible for over 70% of agricultural production on our continent, we farm through knowledge sharing. In complex and closely knit social groups, starting in early childhood, knowledge is birthed, nurtured and passed on. This knowledge relates to a wide range of topics, such as seed selection and storage, farming methods, nutrition and traditional medicine.

Our grandparents used to tell us: ‘chara chimwe hachitswanyi inda’, meaning: ‘for a person to achieve his or her goals they need help, ideas and knowledge from other people’. So we share knowledge as we walk to fetch water, gather firewood, during traditional ceremonies and as we take our children to clinics. Every space in our community is a space to learn and share what one knows.

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BAFLF & NWFA celebrate International Women’s Day

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-03-16-BAFLF.jpg(Dhaka, March 8, 2016) Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation (BAFLF) & National Women Farmers & Workers Association (NWFA) celebrated the International Women’s Day 2016 with a theme ‘equal rights for women in everywhere including on land and resources, recognition in agriculture, ensuring women’s health, job security, livelihood, safety and dignity including women’s maternity right as right to food’.

BAFLF arranged a rally and a discussion meeting where women agricultural workers and women farmers participated to mark women’s day on 8 March. These events were held at BRRI headquarters, Gazipur, Dhaka. Dr. Jiban Krishna Biswas, Director General, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) attended the meeting as chief guest while Norjahan Begum vice president of NWFA presided over the programe and Asma Khatun, member of NWFA facilitated the whole programme. Among others Mr. Rahimuddin, president of BRRI workers’ Association, Golam Sorowor and Md. Mamun of BAFLF were present at the discussion meeting.

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