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By Lydia Simas
November 25th, 2015
With drums, solidarity, art and action, members of the World March of Women gathered in Cajamarca, Peru this October. This gathering of one hundred women from Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Quebec, United States and Venezuela marked the fourth regional meeting of the World March of Women of the Americas. This also marked the first regional meeting that included representation from the newly formed US chapter of the World March of Women (of which Grassroots International is a member).
The regional meeting consisted of building analysis and strategy, sharing stories and culture, and taking to the streets to march in solidarity with the struggles of the women of Cajamarca.
At least 35 percent of women and girls globally experience some form of physical or sexual violence, according to the United Nations. On this November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November, Grassroots International joins our global partners in mobilizing to strengthen the struggle and resistance around to systems that exploit women and remove them from their homes, creates wars and militarizes civilian territories. As La Via Campesina rightly states, “It is urgent to build new human relationships that are founded on gender justice and equal rights.”
By From a presentation by Mariam Mayet and Edited by Simone Adler
November 18th, 2015
Our farmer-managed seed systems in Africa are being criminalized and displaced by a very aggressive green revolution project of corporate occupation by big multinational companies. This violent agrarian transformation is facing profound objection.
Traditional, small-holder peasant agriculture is done by women. Women are the ones who save the seeds – the soul of the peasant population. This is to honor what women have inherited from their ancestors: the conservation of seeds as part of their knowledge to care for the whole family and nourish their communities.
The green revolution introduced GMOs in Africa. Technicians and researchers come to tell our producers about agriculture from the outside.
Scores of people – showing a great diversity of races, ages and backgrounds – packed into the room to look together at the connections between climate justice and Black Lives Matter, and how these movements present themselves in the experiences of Haiti, New Orleans and elsewhere. More people spilled out into the hallway, illustrating how ready people were to hear the powerful words coming from inside: everyone matters and has a role in the struggle for human rights and the survival of the planet.
The Women’s Commission of the Via Campesina has a poster of Margarita Murillo. A family farmer and member of the Women’s Commission, Margarita was killed last year after many years of receiving death threats for her leadership in defending land rights.
Since 1994, August 9 has been dedicated as the UN’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. The primary purpose of this commemorative day is to help promote and protect the rights of indigenous people around the world.
Grassroots International stands with people on the frontlines of defending the human rights to water, land, and food. Recently, we awarded more than 15 grants to movements in Haiti, Latin America, Palestine, West Africa and India – bolstering the efforts of those leading the global struggle for climate justice and creating sustainable solutions that we can all learn from.
Over the last decade, thousands of community leaders received training at the Central American Training Center in Nicaragua. This center, run by our partner the Association of Rural Workers (ATC) enables the Via Campesina to offer extensive training to small-farmer leaders from throughout the region in agroecology and building powerful, democratic organizations.
In this video, Maria Jose Urbina, Coordinator of the National Women's Commission of the Via Campesina and the Association of Rural Workers, discusses her work with the ATC, and the importance of land rights for rural workers and women.
People who are concerned about climate disruption and hunger are talking more and more about agroecology, that is, using ecological, economic, cultural, and gender justice principles to inform agricultural practices and systems. And those people are joining Grassroots International and our global partners in advocating for a shift toward agroecology to create a more sustainable future.