A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Today marks South Sudan’s third year of independence. But in the past seven months, the sense of unity that brought its people together in 2011 has been lost, pushing 1.5 million from their homes and forcing many to live in appalling conditions.
The agrarian transition to an input-intensive, capitalized form of agriculture is deeply gendered. Food security depends on combating overt discrimination against women, but this shall only be viable if combined with a redistribution of roles in the household.
By Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
Food sovereignty offers opportunities to advance women’s rights, but we must also work to change gender relations within rural families and within our own movement. Peasant movements such as La Via Campesina must step up to the challenge of linking food sovereignty and feminism.
By Pamela Elisa Caro Molina, feminist researcher working with CLOC-La Via Campesina
Almost everywhere and across all age-groups, female nutrition indicators are worse than those of their male counterparts. Gender differences in access to food obviously reflect socio-cultural reali-ties, but are often reinforced by public policies that are either gender-blind or downright discrimina-tory.
By Jayati Ghosh, feminist, economist and professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University
All things being equal, countries benefit from more open trade. But all things are not equal. For women, the context is almost always one of inequality. To protect and advance women’s rights, it’s time for trade negotiators to start discriminating.
By Sophia Murphy, senior advisor to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Governments and development agencies need to shift the onus of feeding the world away from time-strapped impoverished women, and instead support their organizing and cultivate their traditional knowledge. We also need to rethink women’s unpaid care work and lack of time as fundamental issues of food security.
By Joanna Kerr, CEO of ActionAid International
Business leaders change behavior when something is in it for them and their companies. If we want them to change the way they do business, we need to stop talking about justice and gender equality, and instead show how a fairer food system means sustainable profits.
By Tinna Nielsen, senior diversity and inclusion consultant
The women’s movement hasn’t been proactive about defining its own platform for action on food justice, and we are noticeably absent from spaces where decisions are made. We need to break out of our silos, strengthen our technical expertise, and start shaping the political process rather than stand on the sidelines.
by Alexandra Spieldoch, women's rights activist, formerly with WOCAN
One of the ultimate perversities of our era is that the producers of food and their children often go to bed hungry. Reform of commercial agriculture is urgent if the women farm workers who grow and pack our food are to have enough to eat.
By Fatima Shabodien, former Director of the Women on Farms Project
Seeds are the first link in the food chain. Yet women seed breeders are invisible in the industrial model of food production and in intellectual property regimes. The roots of food and gender justice lie in keeping seeds in women’s hands and recognizing women’s knowledge of biodiversity.
by Vandana Shiva, philosopher, feminist and environmental activist