CSM Statement at CFS 46 on the International Day of Rural Women

12 October 2019, Rome, Italy - Silvia Dywilli, CSM Youth Constituency, World March of Women, Mozambique. Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples' Mechanism for relations with the UN Committee on World Food Security, FAO headquarters (Green Room).

Photo credit must be given: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano. Editorial use only. Copyright ©FAO.
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15 October 2019

CSM Statement at CFS 46 on the International Day of Rural Women

Delivered on behalf of CSM by Silvia Dywili, World March of Women, Mozambique

It is shocking that 820 million people are living with hunger, majority of them being women in every region.

We believe that the current global food system builds on and perpetuates gender-based discrimination and the violation of women’s rights. In order to achieve a fair and equal society where women can fully enjoy their rights, we must put at the centre the alternative model of consumption and production that ensure women’s rights, recognize their central role and that it is founded on agroecology and the food sovereignty paradigm.

We recognize the CEDAW and the General Recommendation 34 on Rights of Rural women.

Land rights remain at the heart of our demands as women especially young women are by far the largest segment that is landless in the world. The corporate capture of land is resulting in immense land grab across countries. As part of the control over resources land grab is topmost; even rich countries, land scarce and food scarce countries are grabbing land. Result is massive evictions of our people, especially the indigenous people and rural communities are being hunted and forced to leave their ancestral lands, often leaving behind women.

Though demand for land rights remains at the heart of the struggle for women’s rights, they also demand access and control over all reproductive resources, control over markets.  The current fight over resources is having a huge impact on the lives of women and girls and face continuous violence- physical, economic and political. Patriarchy continues to have a huge role in controlling the lives of women and especially young women. They are the ones who go hungry; in Mozambique women and children are the biggest segment who are part of the anemic malnourished. Women are at the fore front of demanding agroecology as a form of production to overcome many forms of violence in their lives. One is that it allows them to grow wholesome healthy food free from the poisons of industrial chemical food production system. Agroecology is also the way ahead to fight climate crisis. It’s critical that women’s rights are held paramount.

Currently, very weak policies and strategies are used to dilute women’s rights. For us, empowerment of women is not equal to women’s rights; we are empowered and don’t need such platitudes. We demand to be considered equal and our inalienable rights to be recognized, promoted ad implemented.