La Via Campesina says 'Not one less': No more violence against women!

2016-11-17 Nov 25 Card 1.jpg(Harare, 17 November 2016) On the 25th November, the International Day of Struggle against violence against women;  The Via Campesina will reaffirm its commitment to the struggles for equal rights and human dignity.

We as women carry enormous responsibilities in this world, and feed entire nations using agroecological practices, without our economic, social, legal and political rights being recognised, and without public programmes to guarantee equal social and economic participation.For this reason we are making a global call to our organisations, allies and friends to join forces to support actions, mobilisations and activities to denounce the different types of violence faced by women and to criticise the capitalist patriarchal model and the encroachment of agribusiness in our territories.

On this day of struggle we join the voices of millions of women who came together in Latin America on 19th October to shout  “Not one less, we want us alive”  to denounce the alarming growth in femicide[1] and male-chauvinist and misogynist violence against women. Femicide stems from the structural inequality between women and men, and the domination of men over women; gender violence is a mechanism for these factors to reproduce oppression and discrimination against women.

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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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