March 8, 2021 – Working Women’s Day
(Harare: February 25, 2021) This March 8th 2021, organized in our diversity and together with one single voice we declare: Against the Virus of Patriarchy and Capitalism, the Vaccine of Feminism and Solidarity!, while highlighting the essential role of rural women and peasants as a whole, who represent around 60% to 70% of world food production and are the front line in the production of agroecological and healthy food that sustains life. On the 25th anniversary of the collective construction of Food Sovereignty, this is our tangible and sustainable way to face the different crises we live today. We need to end the systemic violence of capitalism and patriarchy, which today violate the rights of women, diversities, children, and the working class, even excluding them from public and free access to a vaccine, which should be considered, as well as food, a human right, as we advocate in our international call for the Right to Public and Free Health for all populations!
In this world, the political, social and economic role of women is vital, even more in the midst of this COVID pandemic, yet we continue receiving lower wages, we are in the informal sector, we face precarious employment, we are exploited, we are migrants, single mothers, agricultural workers, fisherwomen, and shepherds. We have less access to land, technology and public policies on health, protection against violence, education and culture. The greatest obstacle we face in the countryside is the lack of access to means of production such as the land. In the market, women barely own 1% of the land and yet we face the challenge of continuing to guarantee food and care for communities, families and the world under conditions of political, economic and social inequality.
That is why on this day we also demand that states implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP). It recognizes women and peasants as subjects of rights. This UN Declaration is a strategic tool to strengthen the struggles and proposals of rural movements. It also establishes jurisprudence and an international legal perspective to guide legislation and public policies at all institutional levels for the benefit of those who feed the world.
The prevailing agro-business model is standardized by the economic power of the agro-industry; it is the large multinational corporations that control what will be produced, what we eat, how much and at what the price; they lobby governments and even multilateral organizations, as we have denounced is the case of the Food Summit organized by the FAO for this year with the objective to continue monopolizing the food market even more. This dynamic generates high profits for corporations, and very serious costs for the health of societies and the planet.
Throughout history, we women have been in the struggle as subjects of transformation, mobilization and consciousness raising. Thus, as La Via Campesina we salute all the movements and comrades who resist in India, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Cuba, Kurdistan, Palestine, the Zapatistas, the diverse women organized in the World March of Women and other allied networks, who are actively participating in the changes that our societies need, for justice and dignity for the majority of the people.
Take action: This March 8, like every Working Women’s Day, we call on our member organizations, allies and friends to mobilise from all the spaces where we are, in our communities, streets, public squares, markets, schools and jobs, in defense of life, let us continue to denounce and raise awareness, pushing states to commit to the historic struggles of working class rural and urban women.
Against the Virus of Patriarchy and Capitalism, the Vaccine of Feminism and Solidarity!
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