La Via Campesina and Korean Woman Peasant Association organized the South East Asia and East Asia woman peasant leaders training from August 21th – 25th in Seoul, South Korea, participated by the woman peasant leaders from Thailand, Indonesia, Philippine, Japan, Timor Leste, Vietnam and South Korea. We shared the negative impact of WTO to woman peasant in each country and found that we are facing the same problems and have to fight against neo-liberalism and WTO has threaten woman peasant’s lives, we agreed to strengthening our solidarity in the international level.
The WTO obligates the member countries to import the food and this situation make the Korean government open the rice market without Korean farmers agreement, and the opening of rice market wiping up the farmers in Korea and driving them to the bankruptcy.
The impact of WTO to the Thailand farmers even worse, the production cost is very high and make them tight up by the debt and many farmers committed suicide since they cannot pay the debt.
In Indonesia, many children suffer from malnutrition most of them come from the peasant families who live in poverty. Agriculture products have to sale with the very low price and do not cover the production cost.
Young peoples are no longer interest to be farmer, in Japan number of young farmer is decreasing and will make Japanese agriculture disappear make Japan totally depend on food import.
While the peasant fight to protect our farming land, the peasant rights violation face by the peasants in Philippine, intimidate, torture, disappearance, and even murder of the peasant. The violation faces by the peasant make the woman peasant responsible for the family and the farming land.
Under the hard situation, woman peasants are suffering from too much farming works to carry out or to forced to leave out of agriculture and work as housemaid or prostitute in the cities.
Using pesticide in agriculture also make woman peasant suffer from various kind of diseases, but the public health service is not provided for us. In rural areas where no job for woman peasant, they decided to marry the foreign old man for better life that actually brings them to domestic violence, or leave far from their home country. Woman peasants are suffering the most under the WTO, so we say “No” to WTO. WTO makes our lives only suffering and takes our food sovereignty from us. Therefore we must make it stop.
The woman peasant gathered here in Seoul agreed to meet in Hong Kong again to organize a peaceful protest during the WTO Ministerial meeting December 2005. With us, thousands peasant of Via Campesina and other social movements will come to Hong Kong to derail the WTO Ministerial Meeting. In Hong Kong woman peasant will use this good occasion to share our experiences under WTO to all over the world and the its impact of our lives. And we are at the front line struggle against WTO. Ten years of WTO is enough!
We are committed to be in Hong Kong for peace protest WTO ministerial meeting will only make us more suffer and loose our food sovereignty.
Thousand peasants of Via Campesina and other social movement will be in Hong Kong to derail the WTO ministerial meeting, WTO will only make our life suffer and there for this have to be stop.
Seoul, August 25th, 2005