The European Coordination Via Campesina joins and supports the international call for women’s strike on March 8. We, peasant women and agricultural workers in Europe, are going on strike because we want to regain control over our food systems. Because seeds, forests, knowledge… must serve to preserve life and not capital. Because we are against machista violence. Because we sap strength from our struggle if women are not free from gender injustice and oppression. We go on strike because we want control over our bodies and the right to decide. And let our voices be heard!
La Via Campesina Press Release – International Women’s Day
(Harare, March 6th, 2019) The goals that gave rise to International Women’s Day continue to inspire us. They have become the rallying cry of the women and men in all parts of the world who are engaged in organised resistance to capitalism and patriatrchy.
This is the reason why, this March 8th, in a spirit of unity and solidarity, we, La Via Campesina women from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe fighting for our rights and for life, are taking part in all of the activities and demonstrations organised by rural and urban women workers.
This March 8th, we too are going on strike!
On this day of global action, we will be in the streets and public spaces, in peasant communities and rural areas, imbued with our strength and our capacity for resistance and organisation, re-affirming our message of struggle. In the current world context of an onslaught by capitalism in its most savage and overwhelming form, there have been increases in social inequality, in conflicts, and the incidence of xenophobia and homophobia, as well as in the criminalisation of those of us who are struggling for human rights and for life. In a climate of war-mongering and a context of migratory crisis, millions of people, including millions of women, are subjected to extreme poverty and violence.
For this reason, we La Via Campesina women are mobilising on March 8th, 2019, as we have done in years past. We are organising; we are struggling; we are calling for an End to Neoliberalism and an End to the Patriarchy! We are putting forward our proposal for the construction of a better world, celebrating our Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas, a political instrument that was adopted by the United Nations as a result of our concerted struggles. This declaration safeguards the right to a life with dignity for those of us who feed the world’s peoples, and who are the custodians of land, water, and forests.
For us, La Via Campesina women, food cannot be commodified in a globalised market that is driven solely by profit and that leaves millions of people hungry. For us, food production should be grounded in Food Sovereignty that is built on agroecology. In this context, we are the principal actors, promoting peasant agriculture on the basis of respect for the rights of peasant women and men. This would require a change in regional policies for rural areas, accompanied by a feminist perspective – a popular peasant feminism that guarantees the rights of women and ensures their participation in political decision-making.
We believe that in order to end gender-based violence it is essential to empower women and to guarantee their rights and bring about their emancipation. This is why the women and men of La Via Campesina, in a single expression of struggle and liberation, are saying this International Women’s Day: For the life and dignity of women, we fight together against exploitation and oppression!
We remain firm in our mission of planting the seeds of hope and liberation for rural and urban women all over the world. We are therefore expressing our sisterly solidarity with all of the women of the International Women’s Strike, the aim of which is to show that women’s work is a crucial element in the maintenance and reproduction of life and of the global economy. Only through social organisation and through training and political study, in cooperation with other feminist organisations of women and women workers, will we be able to advance towards a dignified life for women and men.
For the life and dignity of women, we fight together against exploitation and oppression!