Women farmers from five continents marked International Women’s Day (8 March) with a declaration reaffirming their willingness to take action to change ‘the capitalist and patriarchal world that gives priority to the market’s interests instead of the rights of people’. In the statement, the Via Campesina Women’s International Committee said it would work towards a just and equal world which recognises the worth and rights of each human being, and where women’s rights – from the right to life with dignity and without violence to respect of sexual and human rights – are human rights. They also highlighted the importance of food sovereignty and respect for biodiversity, undermined among other things by corporate interests.
Declaration of the Women's International Committee of Via Campesina on the occasion of the International Women's Day, 2009
We, women farmers from the five continents gathered in Seoul, South Korea, in the framework of Via Campesina’s Women’s International Committee meeting, declare:
On 8 March, the International Women's Day, we reaffirm our willingness to take actions to change the capitalist and patriarchal world that gives priority to the market’s interests instead of the rights of people.
As women farmers, we demand the respect of all our rights. We demand a life with dignity and without violence, and the respect of our sexual and reproductive rights. We struggle to achieve food sovereignty and to defend family farming, the only alternative to the current food and climate crises. We want a real agrarian reform and respect for biodiversity.
We launched the international campaign against violence towards women in Maputo, Mozambique, during Via Campesina’s 5th Conference – October 2008.
At this meeting in Korea, we reconfirm our will:
- To strengthen the organisation at all levels and the struggle of women for their emancipation
- To move forward in the equity of the sexes and women’s participation in all areas of decision making
- To implement parity in our organisations
- To end all forms of violence towards women, and to break the culture of silence
- To build a global society that is just and equal.
We call women and men who struggle for peace and justice to take part in the immediate implementation of measures to eradicate all forms of physical, sexual, economic, environmental, verbal, and psychological violence. We demand an end to the violence of war.
We support our farmer sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in Palestine, as well as all the women in all the countries that suffer wars and conflicts.
We denounce the destructive practices of transnational companies that destroy biodiversity, steal land, create environmental disasters, force massive migrations and cause the disappearance of family farming. We commit ourselves to struggle against unjust corporate power.
All forms of inequality must be eliminated as soon as possible, whether they are social, cultural, ethnic, class or gender based.
We will struggle until we build a society that values the worth and the rights of each human being and affirms that women's rights are human rights.
* Via Campesina is the international movement of peasants, small- and medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers.
Special thanks to Pamazuka News.
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