The new Report of the CSM Women Working Group is out!

Gender, COVID-19 and Food Systems: impacts, community responses and feminist policy demands DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE! This publication is a report of the CSM Women’s Working Group. It was authored by Jessica Duncan and Priscilla Claeys in consultation with the Women’s Working Group.  “We won’t go back to normality, because normality was the problem.” With this sentence projected on the facade of a building in Santiago of Chile in March 2020, grassroots and feminist movements clearly articulated their perspective on the COVID-19 crisis. This is a profound and unprecedented global crisis that is exacerbating and leveraging pre-existent systemic forms of patriarchal inequalities, oppressions, racism, colonialism, violence and discrimination that cannot be tolerated. With this sentence capturing the public space and visibility of a building, feminist movements also proclaimed that they would not surrender to isolation and the silencing of their voices, struggles and demands during this pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered the structural vulnerabilities and weaknesses of our food systems. Neoliberalism, global capitalism and feudalism[i] have been eroding for decades our social protection and welfare systems, fostering the structural colonial deprivation and grabbing of natural resources of the global south, violating human rights, harming ecosystems and biodiversity and strengthening the sexual division of labor, leaving women to face alone the burden of productive and social reproductive work. From a feminist perspective, the COVID-19 crisis is indeed a global care crisis, where states and governments have failed to prioritize people’s interests, while (transnational) corporations are increasingly capturing and dismantling the public commons to impose their own private interest. This pattern is also well reflected in the current production and consumption food systems. It has been suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic may add between 83 and 132 million people to the total number of undernourished in the world in 2020 depending on the economic growth scenario.[ii] Women are indeed positioned, due to their gender-assigned roles, to be disproportionately impacted, as they are literally on the front line of the crisis.Women and girls are the majority of food producers and providers for their households, they are the majority of nurses, care and social workers, food and agricultural workers and teachers. Yet, they have been consistently overlooked and invisible in research and responses to the pandemic. Gender inequality and discrimination is shaping, and will continue to shape, the COVID-19 pandemic in tangible and significant ways. The collective spirit and emotional intensity generated during

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

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

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CSM side event on Extractivism and Women’s right to food

CSM side event @CFS 46 The impact of extractivism on women’s right to food and the struggle for a just transition Addressing root causes of violence against women and the way ahead for concrete solutions towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda 17 October 2019 08.30 – 10.00 Iran room DOWNLOAD THE FLYER SUMMARY OF THE SIDE EVENT Panelists: Samantha Hargreaves – WoMin (South Africa) Chaturika Sewwandi – National Federation of Women of Vikalpani (Sri Lanka) Laura Hurtado – National Director of ActionAid Guatemala (Guatemala), connected by telephone from Geneva Dercy Teles de Carvalho Cunha – President of the Rural Workers’ Union of Xapuri Municipality and President of the Small Farmers’ Association 11 June, Amazonia, Brazil Moderator: Azra Sayeed – International Women’s Alliance (Pakistan) The side event aims to explore the different aspects of extractive industries (from monoculture plantations to mining) and intends to make a linkage on how the environment and health impacts of this production are directly affecting women’s right to food and their empowerment. The event also wants to highlight what role that the CFS can play looking towards the upcoming CFS workstream on gender equality and women’s empowerment, to ensure a just transition towards the achievement of Agenda 2030. Moreover, we will also address how violence against women is strictly linked to women’s food insecurity and malnutrition and, often, how violence worsened when women live in areas where extractives projects are taking place. Interpretation available in EN/ES/FR

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CSM Paper on Feminism and Agroecology!

An input and vision paper of the CSM Working Group of Women Without feminism there is no agroecology! Towards healthy, sustainable and just food systems August 2019   This document intends to inform CSM positions towards the  upcoming CFS Policy Process on Agroecology and other innovations. A shorter version of this vision is also included in the new edition 2019 of the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch of the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition  This text is the outcome of an incredible collective work and was adopted by the CSM Women Working Group that counts with 190 participating organisations in August 2019. It wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment and engagement of many special women. DOWNLOAD AND READ THE PAPER HERE!

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CSM Women’s Vision!

CSM Women’s Vision Document 2018 We women of the CSM constituency, gathering rural and urban, fisher folks, peasants, pastoralists, indigenous, consumers, agricultural workers, NGO activists, landless women from all across the world, met during the CFS High Level Forum on women’s empowerment in the context of food security and nutrition, and developed the structure of our Vision Statement.  This vision has been adopted by the CSM Women Constituency and aims to guide and promote the actions of the CSM within and outside the CFS to achieve the right to food for all women. We believe that the right to food, food security and nutrition and food sovereignty of women will never be achieved without ensuring the full respect, protection and fulfilment of women’s rights. We want to go beyond the universally agreed goal of gender equality and women’s empowerment, which does not explicitly assert the centrality of women’s rights. We also express some concern about the term “empowerment”, which might imply a top-down relation where women are conceived as recipients of external education, training, and interventions. We want to support our self-determination, autonomy and decision-making power in all the aspects of our lives, including the food we produce and consume. We recognize the need to deconstruct the dominant narrative on women who are very often portrayed as victims in need of anti-poverty policies and social assistance, and treated as objects in the food advertising and marketing industry. All actors engaged in the CFS must internalize in their analysis, contributions and practical actions the fact that women are active political subjects, agents of their own change and development, and must be recognized as having the right to self-determine themselves and their bodies. Women are knowledge bearers and have capacities, we require public policies that are gender-oriented or specific for women, with adequate budgets to guarantee their effective implementation. They should be primarily directed to women’s organizations, promoting self-empowerment, self-training and women’s autonomy.  This perspective should inform any discussion leading to CFS policy decisions as these can be conducive to change or perpetuate the violence against women by hierarchical and discriminatory power that is historically and socially constructed, and normalized. 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

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Migration and the Right to Food: “Women workers are the most exploited and least paid in Italy”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1RyHjzohBE&feature=youtu.be In this video, Rossana Scaricabarozzi, of ActionAid Italy, talks about the results of a study carried out recently about the condition of migrant agricultural workers, particularly women. The study shows that women are among the most exploited and least paid migrant agricultural workers in Italy. Despite the escalating numbers of migrant women entering the sector, there is a huge invisibility of their work and their difficulties.

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“We have to organize ourselves to defend the rights of rural women”, Margarita Gómez

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxymfU_Rf4g&feature=youtu.be On the International Day of Rural Women, Margarita Gómez from CLOC-Vía Campesina shares her concerns about the plight of women living and working in the Latin America countryside. Among the problems they are facing are threats, evictions from their territories, persecution, hunger and malnutrition. However, it reminds us that we should not forget that there is hope for a different world and that there are solutions, but we must organize ourselves to defend women’s rights.

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Christiana Louwa demands actions | International Day of Rural Women 2018

https://youtu.be/yjIN5lpGPVE On the first day of the negotiations of the Committee on World Food Security in Rome, and on the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women, Christiana Louwa from the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP) shares her views on the bad living conditions of women in rural areas. “After years of negotiations and developing instruments, there’s still not much improvement in their situation. Most of the governments have very good policies, including the government of my country Kenia, but they are not translated in concrete actions to help rural women. As a rural, indigenous woman, I call on all the member states of the UN that if they sign or ratify an agreement, they do so with commitment. Our governments have to leave the voluntary approach, because that doesn’t help us at all.”

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Rural women speak out at UN food security plenary: ‘After a decade of celebrating International Rural Women’s Day we are still denied our rights’

For immediate release: Monday, 15 October 2016 Women farmers, fishers, pastoralists, agriculture workers and indigenous smallholders have been feeding their communities for centuries but remain largely invisible in the world of agriculture. To celebrate International Day of Rural Women today at the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) Plenary in Rome, a panel of experts on food security, representing women’s grassroots organisations have come together to share their experiences, struggles and demands. The panel event was organised by the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism (CSM) of the CFS, a platform that brings together organisations working on food and nutrition and producers, who represent more than 380 million members across the world. Introducing the session, Ruchi Tripathi, chair of the panel and head of resilient livelihoods and climate justice at ActionAid International, spoke about the importance of recognising the multiple identities and unique struggles of rural women. Several of the panellists pointed out that there were policies and laws on women’s rights, including recommendation 34 on the rights of rural women set out by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. But that these were not being put into practice. UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver, spoke about the gap between law and implementation. “The law does not get all the way to villages, or fisherfolk or indigenous peoples,” she said. Panellist Christina Louwa, from the World Forum of Fisher Peoples, said: “It is a shame that after a decade of celebrating International Rural Women’s Day, we are still making the same demands and are yet to fully access and enjoy those rights. “Women in small-scale fishing communities and indigenous women are the pillars and backbone of their communities and play a key role in contributing to the nourishment and food security of their families and communities. Their lives and livelihoods, and those of their communities, are threatened by both factors such as ocean, lakes, land and natural resources-grabbing, privatisation, exclusion, marginalisation, rape and sexual harassment.” She called on governments to engage women in fishing communities and indigenous women and their representatives in decision-making at all levels. Iridiani Seibert, from La Via Campesina and coordinator of the CSM’s women’s group, also reflected on a decade of celebrating International Day of Rural Women, highlighting the centrality of ‘agroecology for the realisation of women’s rights. However, spoke of her disappointment on hearing that rural

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“Globalization, militarism and patriarchy perpetuate hunger”, Azra Sayeed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qTnXou5Q48&feature=youtu.be In this video, Azra Sayeed from International Women’s Alliance, Pakistan, explains the intercepts of militarism, patriarchy, Globalization, aid and HUNGER. If not progressive, laws, policies and institutions can perpetuate hunger and malnutrition, specially in women and children. Towards CFS, Azra message is: governments and people should sit down and talk, with no hierarchies, since “governments belong to us”, the people.

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