In the coming weeks and months we will see ground breaking activities taking place in over 15 countries as part of HungerFree Women. Women in each of these countries are coming together at local, district, regional and national level to discuss, strategise, mobilize, and demand their rights and needs as women farmers in the face of the food crisis, and in the face of discrimination against them in terms of accessing land, natural resources, and ways of earning a living. This campaign push will be brought together internationally through a media push around World Food Day and through the new revamped website which will go live on 15th October.
In the coming weeks and months we will see ground breaking activities taking place in over 15 countries as part of HungerFree Women. Women in each of these countries are coming together at local, district, regional and national level to discuss, strategise, mobilize, and demand their rights and needs as women farmers in the face of the food crisis, and in the face of discrimination against them in terms of accessing land, natural resources, and ways of earning a living. This campaign push will be brought together internationally through a media push around World Food Day and through the new revampedwww.actionaid.org/hungerfree website which will go live on 15th October. Watch that space for stories, photos, video and news of what is happening on the ground.
Here is a snapshot of what will be happening across the world
Rural meetings in 11 districts are using PVA tools to better understand what is needed to secure the rights and bolster the food production of women farmers. These are then being followed by rural hearings where women are meeting with local leaders and raising their issues directly to the authorities. In some cases responses have been instant -i.e. a local councillor in one area straight away ordered 17 farms to be allocated to women.
There will be a national Women and Land conference between 22nd and 24th November.
A Rural Women's Forum has taken place with powerful leaders such as Graca Machel and government ministers taking part. Country-wide in-depth consultations with women farmers over the past few months have generated the following charter demands:
1) Access to written Rights to Land for a woman within 45 days of applying
2) Access to credit & financing
3) Access to information and training on land laws
4) Implementation of a monitoring mechanism to analyse the progress made with land laws.
Women from AA DAs will take part in an event and march in Maputo organised by wider social movements to mark Rural Women’s Day from 15-17th October. Graca Machel will be coming for the march and the President of Mozambique will receive the charter himself from the women at the end of the march.
Vietnam (Dinah – there is bowl demands image)
Charter meetings have taken place in 7 DAs, where women have had discussions around their entitlement to land, and signed charter messages on rice bowls.
The key rallying slogans for AAV’s HungerFREE Women activities are:
- Women have the legal rights to access land
- Land entitlement ensures sustainable livelihoods for women
- The law provides for land use certificate bearing both husband’s and wife’s names
Preparations are now gearing up for a national event on the 12th. Two reports – women’s entitlement to land, and the impact of the food crisis on the poor – which are both based on recent surveys conducted by AAV, will be launched at the event. A concert with popular artists will also take place at the university, with a special performance of the KaKaKonKele song in Vietnamese.
Under the local HungerFREE brand, “Keno dii Musolu-la ka konko Bai” (give space to women to eradicate hunger), AA The Gambia is this year building even further on its work to build a strong women’s movement calling for women’s right to land and productive resources for agriculture and enterprise development.
The HungerFREE Women specific aims are to get the government to review the obsolete customary law (the Provincial Lands Act, 1955) in favour of women farmers and to increase budget allocations to the agriculture sector with a special budget target to support specific women’s activities.
Starting on15th October a 5 day cross-country caravan (long bus) supported by media events, local musicians and artists will visit all regions, and will be accompanied by radio and TV channels. The caravan will culminate at the FAO World Food Day candlelit vigil on 21st October, where women farmers will hand over their demands to the Speaker of the National Assembly
Having already done country-wide consultations with women AAP is now building up to nearly 6 weeks of mobilisation. A launch event on 15th – 16th October on the theme food security and women’s right to land, will see women farmers from across the country sharing their experiences on the food crisis and women’s right to land.
A journey starting in Sindh province on 17th October will then travel through all other provinces inPakistan and culminate in Islamabad. Along the way there will be press conferences, a long march (1st - 11th November), demonstrations, rallies, conferences, dialogues, seminars, consultations, and presentations of charters to provincial government. The journey will culminate on 27th Nov with a joint national convention on food crisis and women’s right to land.
HungerFREE Women in Pakistan is calling for an end to the food crisis, equitable and just distribution of land among landless peasants particularly women through Agrarian Reforms, a revision of the agriculture policy, and for women farm workers’ rights and protection.
Following on from the Paris-Dakar events earlier this year where women’s right to land was one of the key messages, AAS is now launching HungerFREE Women with the Music 4 Justice CD in a concert that will take place on 17th October. Organised in partnership with GCAP, the overarching message is for the government to respect their MDG1 commitment to halve hunger by 2015. Ending the food crisis and women’s right to land are the specific messages that will be promoted. Two partners will give testimonies with Didier Awade on stage during the concert, with killer facts displayed on big screens, and women artists will speak out against women discrimination towards land.
Americas [Dinah – use the muheres sin hambre logo]
The Americas region has partnered up with VIA Campesina women, the Guatemala HungerFREE campaign, IFSN networks, and other national women’s groups under the Muheres Sin Hambre (Women without hunger/ Women for a HungerFREE world) banner.
Across 6 countries women are making a variety of demands on access to land, women’s full ctizeinship and identity cards, food sovereignty, water, urban agriculture.
There are plans for mobilizations in Honduras and:
Peru – a march of over 100 women in Lima along with a seed and food fair and public forum;
Chile – mobilizations across the country, a seminar on food security and a big march on water on 15th
Nicaragua – a parade and the delivery of the manifesto to the national assembly
Paraguay – a traditional food fair, campaign activities and press conference
Guatemala – a big presence at the Americas Social Forum (7th – 12th October) with a cooking fair, plates signature collection, petition photos, an event on women and land and participation in the social forum march.
- AA DRC, having just set up a national coalition on women and land, will celebrate Rural Women’s Day on 15th October. They are caling for the harmonisation of laws around women’s right to land, and for peace and for an end to the sexual violence that means women fear going to work on their land.
- AASA is working with DA partner, Masifunde, in the Eastern Cape to develop campaigning work on women’s right to land. There will be a mobilisation and charter presentation on 15thOctober.
- AA Kenya is launching report on women’s rights to land
- AA Nigeria is holding a big music for justice concert around world food day
- AA Ghana will be mobilising against biofuels in the regional capital
It doesn’t stop there - Keeping up the momentum
Keeping up the momentum of this campaign push, AA Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Nepal, Zimbabwe,Malawi, India, Haiti and Brazil will be mobilising with women in November and December.
The HungerFREE food crisis campaign push for the coming months will be focused on investing in women farmers, and small holder farmers more generally. Through our e-action on the revamped website, and through other promotions, other people including our supporters can take action alongside the women farmers’ actions and we can start to build a global movement for agricultural change through this campaign push. This advocacy work will be supported and coordinated by the AA Food Crisis Task Force, which will provide more guidance to national campaign teams.