La Via Campesina struggle against femicide and violence against women

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-11-25-No_Violence_against_women.jpg(Harare, November 25, 2015) On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25th, La Vía Campesina will be mobilizing to strengthen the struggle and resistance  around our capitalist, patriarchal system. Taking into account how this system endangers the lives of women, how it treats them as objects, how it exploits women and removes them from their homes, creates wars and militarizes civilian territories, it is urgent to build new human relationships that are founded on gender justice and equal rights.

La Vía Campesina is reaffirming its commitment to the "Global Campaign to End Violence Against Women" undertaken in 2008 as a tool for debate and education within the peasant movement. Additionally, it aims to call out the structural violence in society that threatens women around the world. This violence manifests itself in every arena, including the physical, psychological, economic and the political one and it is reinforced daily as if it were something natural and normal.

Read more: La Via Campesina struggle against femicide and...

Let’s talk about the rights of women farmers!

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-11-20-frauen-traktorsc.jpg(Vienna, Austria, November 19, 2015) Violence is not always obvious. The traditional structures of power and possession on farms in Austria tend to harm womens’ personal, economic and political rights. Many women suffering from economic dependency and oppression are not aware that they are victims of violence - and that they are able to defend against it. (Economic) Violence against women is still a taboo in the Austrian countryside.

Who owns the farm? Who decides about investments? Who does negotiations? Who has access to money? Who represents the farm? Who engages in political processes? And who does the house and care work?

Read more: Let’s talk about the rights of women farmers!

Kao Bart Village, Thailand: Peasant Women in Struggle for Land Rights and Well Being

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-11-20-Thailand.jpg(Bangkok, November 19, 2015) Kao Bart Village is a forest-dwelling community in Dong Yai Forest in Buriram, province near Thai-Cambodia border, Thailand.  Read on to learn about the complex relationship between the state, the military, corporate interests in agriculture, and the determination of women peasants for autonomy and security in Kao Bart Village. This story is contributed by Assembly of the Poor, Thailand.

In 1970, the Kao Bart villagers were encouraged by the Thai army to live and farm in the forest as part of the military’s anti-communist strategies. In 1976, after the war against communism was over, the Thai state decided to push the villagers out from the forest. Their farmlands were been given to corporates for eucalyptus plantation franchises.

Read more: Kao Bart Village, Thailand: Peasant Women in...

Women fight to reclaim and use traditional seeds

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-10-20_women_zim.JPG(Harare, October 20, 2015) Women from the Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF) continuously fight to reclaim and use traditional seeds, and break dependence on commercial seeds. As the world celebrated the World Food Day on the 16th, the international peasant movement, La Via Campesina, on this day, called on its members and allies, and civil society organizations to mobilize and organize actions for Peoples’ Food Sovereignty and against transnational corporations (TNCs). In response, ZIMSOFF organized its member farmers on the 16th and 17th October, to participate in a dialogue and festival respectively where the focus was on traditional food and seeds. They shared the plight faced by many small farmers, particularly women and youth under the current climate and hunger crises.

Over 12 smallholder farmers (from four ZIMSOFF clusters: northern, eastern, western and central) participated in the festival. These farmers, of which 8 were women, were selected from the best farmers, the winners, at ZIMSOFF cluster food and seed fairs, to represent their clusters at the national level. The cluster food and seed fairs were held in August and September this year. They brought their own seeds and processed farm produce to showcase at the national festival. They brought also seeds and processed farm produce randomly selected from other cluster members.

Tendai Chidhakwa, a smallholder farmer from the eastern cluster of ZIMSOFF participated at the just ended traditional and organic food and seed festival held a day after the World Food Day. According to Tendai Chidhakwa "traditional and farmer saved seeds are not bought but exchanged among the farmers and thus are important in building a stronger food sovereignty. Farmers without money can have seeds to grow and feed their families". With regards to nutrition she said “African traditional seeds are nutritious and good for our bodies; they improve our health.”

Read more: Women fight to reclaim and use traditional seeds

Additional information