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March 8

#8March – Declaration of the Peasant Women of La Via Campesina Southern and Eastern Africa

By staff - La Via Campesina, March 31, 2022

Declaration of working women of La Via Campesina and Allies during the two days’ workshop held at MVIWATA Headquarters, Morogoro, Tanzania

We women, representing our fellow working women from the smallholder farmers’ organizations from 10 countries under the umbrella of La Via Campesina, Political parties and Social movements from various African countries including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique, Ghana and Eswatini.

Our two days meeting aimed to advance our struggles and we have identified the following:

  1. Despite the differences we have in terms of cultures, geography and environmental conditions, together we have similar challenges that require our unity and solidarity in addressing it including the right to acquire, own and use land, commercialization of women bodies and social services including education, water, and health; the increasing violence against women and children and the general oppression of the working class, especially working women. This manifest itself in various forms of economic, social, physical and psychological.
  • These challenges are systemic and are indicative of the system’s failure to recognize and protect working women and their rights in economic, social, political and cultural spheres.
  • The existing women and men relationship are the product of a wide-ranging system of exploitation and oppression whose signs and symptoms manifest themselves in the face of increasing sexual violence especially against women, exploitation of one sex by the other, mistrust between the two sexes. The rising assumption that these two sexes are enemies, the collapse of family values ​​and the disintegration of families with the aim of pursuing employment.
  • That oppressive systems, hidden within neo-liberal policies and that use a man as a tool to abuse women through patriarchy that manifests itself through various economic, social, cultural and political relations in our society have continued to affect us and our society as a whole.
  • Gender-based violence has long and deep roots rooted in the patriarchal system that has been plagued, created and expanded over the years and so the revolution of that system is the solution to violence against women.
  • The solution to these challenges is a systematic change to create equal rights that require strategies built through unity and solidarity of peasant women and men, activists and all friends who support the struggle to overthrow the abusive, oppressive and perpetual system of violence against women.

#8M2022: Break the Bias, says National Farmers Union, Canada

By staff - La Via Campesina, March 10, 2022

Women grow much of the world’s food, often on small scale farms and often to feed our own local communities, but too often the word farmer is associated with men. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is Break the Bias. Under this theme we are all asked to imagine and work towards a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. We are asked to come together to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive world where difference is valued and celebrated.

To Break the Bias, we as women farmers need our stories and experiences told and shared, not just among ourselves but with the wider community. We need to hear and celebrate the stories of a diversity of women farmers and food growers, including from those of us who are part of BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ communities. 

But we are aware that increasingly in Canada and around the world, the journalists who can help us Break the Bias by learning about and better understanding each other as well as the power struggles and structures which aim to maintain the bias, are facing intimidation, abuse and harassment. In Canada in the last few months, we have seen female photojournalists, reporters and opinion writers arrested, subjected to online hate and threats of violence, and sent death threats. Around the world women journalists and journalists from Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) and 2SLGBTQ+ backgrounds are too often subjected to intimidation, online harassment and threats of violence. Journalists from diverse backgrounds have important experience when it comes to understanding and sharing our diverse stories and experiences. As women farmers and women from rural communities our stories and experiences are already too often not told and too often deemed unimportant.

As we strive to Break the Bias, on this International Women’s Day, we are calling on each of us to speak out against the initimidation, online harassment and threats of violence against women jounalists in Canada and around the world. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is calling for support for a diversity of women journalists across alternative and mainstream media, in the hope these women will help us tell our stories as women farmers and food growers committed to food sovereignty.

Women of the World, Mobilise this #March8

By Rashmi Munikempanna, Iridiani Seibert, Mily Treviño-Sauceda - La Via Campesina, February 27, 2017

For the women of La Via Campesina from all over the world, 8th of March is a day of struggle, resistance and denunciation of the capitalist system, transnational corporations (TNCs), patriarchy and masochism. These oppress, exploit and violate women. It's also a day of solidarity with women’s struggles. 

As peasant women, we are fully committed to the struggle for food sovereignty as a solution for systemic change. This includes our struggle for access to land, water, health and seeds. We use agroecology as a political practice which envisions a world built on the principles of justice and equity.  

In recent times, we have seen an increase in violence against women. Our struggles and resistances are being criminalised in a context of growing conservatisms, dismantling of public policies and violations of long-fought-for women’s rights.

The recent grab of power by right-wing governments and heteropatriarchal forces around the world has further imposed an environment where women are violated, oppressed and in some cases assassinated with impunity. In this system, women suffer violence in different ways every day. There are patriarchal forces that confine and bind women in the private sphere, i.e. the home, to care for others. These forces constantly keep us, women, away from political sphere or the social and public life.  

Therefore, it is necessary for us, peasant women of the world, to take the street on this 8th of March, to mobilise, take action and defend our rights, lands, seeds, healthy food and to raise our voices to say Stop Violence Against Women, in ways that suit each organisation’s struggles, goals and local contexts.

We are committed to building alliances for the struggles of peasant women against capital and heteropatriarchal violence. Therefore, we also support and join the International Women Strike this 8th of March. 

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