La Via Campesina and the International Women’s Day

March 8th International Women’s Day, is the day upon which we honour the memory of the many women workers, both rural and urban, who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for their rights, for justice and to put an end to all discrimination and the social, economic and political inequities that have given sustenance to global capitalist development. It is also a day for celebration because of the important progress that has been achieved in women’s struggles for emancipation.

March 8th is a day of mobilisation and reaffirmation of the relentless commitment to not rest in the struggle to end the patriarchal capitalist system that is more oppressive to women, regardless of their place in society all over the world. . This hugely important struggle continues to drive reflections on the part of of both men and women in La Via Campesina on how best to progress with the urgent struggle to for social change toward the kind of system we want. We must design the type of society that we wish to build, with a new balance of power in social relationships between men and women and where men and women shall have equal opportunities, rights and duties.

The Via Campesina message

We salute this International Day of Action and Struggle held on this day by the Women of La Via Campesina on a global level. The purpose of this day of action is to denounce the encroachment of capitalism in agriculture due to the dominance of transnational agribusiness, and the implementation of a destructive model of large scale industrial agriculture. The negative impacts of this model, that is threatening not only peoples’ food sovereignty, but also the environment, fall disproportionately on women. The actions taken on this day shall serve to unmask and denounce the conditions faced by rural women created by this system, including all forms of violence against women, and tohighlight the indispensable role of women in agriculture and in the broader struggle for food sovereignty

La Via Campesina holds that it is essential to raise the level of awareness of all men and women, emphasizing the important role and the historical and current value of women’s contributions to small-scale family/peasant farming. Women play an essential role in preserving ancestral knowledge and in slection and preservation of peasant seeds thatguarantee biodiversity and peoples food sovereignty.Rural women who account for 80% of food production sadly only own 2% of the land; such inequality makes food sovereignty impossible.

As La Via Campesina, women and men will struggle together to decry male chauvinism at the political, economic, and social levels in the capitalist, patriarchal society that dominates today’s world; we do this by mobilising against capitalism, in the hopes of building a society based on equality and justice.

We share the challenges of integrated agrarian reform, ending land-grabbing and guaranteeing social justice that will serve as a means of consolidating food and environmental sovereignty, and ending violence against women. We struggle to achieve a peasant –based model of agriculture based on agro-ecology, defending land, water and seeds and against the commodification of life.

La Via Campesina says Stop Violence Against Women!

Women’s struggles against agribusiness, agrotoxins and for food sovereignty, health and women’s sovereignty!

Globalise the struggle! Globalise hope!