La Via Campesina: #8M2022 | Global Call to Action | By Sowing Food Sovereignty, We Harvest Rights and a Dignified Life!

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Bagnolet, 23 February 2021: On March 8, 2022–International Working Women’s Day—we salute the historic struggles of organized working women in the countryside and in cities for their rights and to live with dignity. Women are the ones who feed their peoples, preserve collective memory, and lead resistance throughout the world.

In a scenario of brutal violence and capitalist, patriarchal, and racist exploitation that is oppressing women, peasants, landless people, migrants and gig workers, children, indigenous, black, and LGBTQ women, we call for unity of action. This will make visible and denounce the political and economic system used to exploit women’s labor, their bodies, and natural resources for the sake of profit, which causes unemployment, hunger, impoverishment, and increasingly precarious housing, leaving health and education only for the privileged few.

The serious political, economic, and social crises our societies are experiencing heightens the contradictions of the capitalist system and threatens real living conditions and the survival of not only women and sexually diverse persons, but all human life and the planet itself.

On March 8th we also celebrate the mobilizations and constant resistance of women everywhere, particularly in Palestine, Brazil, Morocco, Kurdistan, Mexico, Colombia, South Asia and Argentina. Every day these organizers and activists face all kinds of violence, criminalization, and persecution, which threatens their very lives.

“We come together to say with one voice: Down with the complicit political, economic, and judicial system! While we have been sowing Food Sovereignty and Solidarity in a context of war, conservatism, and racism, we continue to donate tons of healthy food, to donate blood, to provide soup kitchens in our neighborhoods and communities, to provide community schools. We do this through symbolic actions in town squares, in local farmer’s markets, in peasant cooperatives. These are concrete actions that inspire us to move toward a more just and fair society,” said

María Canil from CONAVIGUA, the National Coordinator of Widows of Guatemala

La Vía Campesina finds it shameful that while things have gotten worse for most people during the pandemic, the gap between the rich and poor has also grown wider according to an Oxfam report. As neoliberal and emergency packages get thrown at working people, seriously setting back social programs, economic power is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.

2021 was a record year for agribusiness in terms of the production and marketing of export crops, despite its unsustainable model of death based on monocrops, excessive use of agrotoxins, GMOs, and expulsion of peasant farmers from the land. Instead of bringing development to our territories, it just pollutes and leaves people hungry, poor, and diseased.

This is why this March 8th, and throughout 2022, as La Vía Campesina approaches the 30th anniversary of the founding of our organization, a political tool collectively built by small producers, we will continue to defend popular land reform, Food Sovereignty, agroecology, and peasant and popular feminism. These are specific proposals for dialogue and solutions to establish a set of public policies that could promote real development based on such concrete actions as redistribution of land and profits, and promoting social justice and peace in rural and urban areas.

“During this crisis we peasants have suffered many setbacks with our rights, we have experienced hunger and unemployment. We have gone back thirty or forty years, even in Europe. This is why it is so important to reorganize ourselves and strengthen ourselves as LVC and connect with women in their day-to-day lives. We peasant women are experiencing violence, land grabs, and caregiving continues to be worrisome during the post-pandemic,”

Sonial Vidal from the Labriego Gallego Union and member of the Women’s section of LVC.

According to a recent study led by the World Health Organization (WHO), at least one in four women throughout the world have suffered physical or sexual violence from their male partners. This is the largest such study to date by the WHO and it indicates that the true prevalence is likely greater, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that public policies and resource allocation “is a global challenge.”

A report published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) states that at least 4,091 women were victims of femicide in 26 countries of the region in 2020. “Murder is the highest expression of gender violence, and it remains present in the lives of millions of females of all ages,” the report states.

“In the world, the majority of peasant women do not live free from violence. We are raped, killed, harassed, and kicked off our lands. We are also unable to exercise our legitimate rights, such as the right to land. We are forced to do hard jobs without pay, including as heads of household raising our children by ourselves. Often, in order to survive, we have to migrate in caravans going North”

Yolanda Áreas of the Women’s Articulation of CLOC-La Vía Campesina of Central America.

Finally, so that people won’t forget and with the slogan #StopKillingUS we denounce the ineffectiveness of the judicial system in the case of Marielle Franco in Brazil, the murder of our sister Elizabeth in Kenya, and the brutal murder of Sarai, a Venezuelan girl, in Colombia. These, like so many thousands more cases, cannot remain in impunity or be forgotten.

During this Day of Action we call upon our member organizations, allies, and friends to demand an end to all forms of violence and oppression. Governments must do more than support the survivors. They must develop gender justice public policies and invest in prevention programs, education, and communications campaigns to build healthier and more just societies and gender relations.

With Food Sovereignty and Solidarity, We Harvest Rights and a Dignified Life!

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Original post can be viewed here.

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