Friday, October 28, 2011

Rural Women Rock Our World, In Latin America

I love inclusiveness and diversity.  It's really what makes the world go round- in an interesting way.  In just a few short weeks, we have seen our Rural Women Rock diversity unfold in only a number of posts. It’s exciting to think what lies ahead. I do hope when you see a new feature, you choose to read it regardless of your preconceived notions- read regardless of interest. We have a tendency to only be interested in things that reverberate who we are, what we think, and our interests. We grow and learn by going beyond what is familiar and learning about new people, places, ideas, and ways of life. We have so much to learn from each other. (On a ME level) For those women who love fashion and art, notice the fabrics these ladies are wearing, and realize if you love fabric and color you support farming and agriculture. Step back Amy Butler.

As Americans, we forget many things. I think sometimes the more rural we get, the smaller our world becomes, and the more forgetful we are. We forget we’re not alone in the world. The sun doesn’t rise and set at the edges of our small towns, farms, and yards. We forget how fortunate we are, and how far we have come. We forget how we got here and why. We forget it takes visiting these ideas and new ones to maintain and grow. We are a part of a big world. We should learn about it.

                                Women Watch

 As we were celebrating World Food Day with our voices bouncing from the East to the West coast with ease via the internet and social media. These ladies were also gathering their voices together for growth and change. Much effort has went into the gathering and raising up of their voices. As fellow rural women we owe it to them to listen closely to see what they are saying.


 This was Oxfam Blogs October 14th Post.  Thanks Len for introducing me to the Oxfam Blog, and thank you Jenny for sharing these women and their collective voice.


If you feel the earth move this weekend it is because all over Latin America, rural women will be marching. In eight countries on the continent – from Paraguay in the south to Mexico in the north – they will be celebrating the International Day of Rural Women and World Food Day.

So who are the rural women? They are women who work between 14 and 16 hours a day – in the home, in production, in processing, in animal husbandry. They are often the main producers of subsistence crops, they are in charge of fetching water and firewood for their families and they are organizers and promoters within their communities. They step out to demand their rights and they maintain the connection to the land.
According to the FAO if the rural women of the world had access to the same resources as their male counterparts, they could increase their production by 20-30% and feed another 100-150 million people.
The GROW campaign knows no borders, and neither do the demands and messages that the rural women of Latin America will put forward on 15 October. To illustrate this, they will connect to each other between countries through a regional photo stunt. Segment by segment, they will build a sentence that can only be read once the photos that they will send us from the different countries are put together next to each other.
Look out for the photo and join this network and our GROWing cause!
All of this will start in Paraguay, where rural women will descend on the capital to make their demands heard. They will talk about food sovereignty and the recuperation and protection of native seed diversity. They will call for access to land and credit for women and the recognition of their work as food producers and guardians of biodiversity.

The photo from Paraguay will read Women In Peru The women will take control of the capital’s most important Plaza to present their proposal for investment in women producers to the Minister for Women, the Mayor of Lima and the first lady. They will recreate a day of working the land in front of the Government Palace and invite passers-by to join in. The Peruvian picture will say we transform the world

In Colombia the meeting point is the Alcalá park in Bogotá. The women will demand that their proposals be taken into account in the new Agricultural and Rural Development Law – especially concerning access to land, funding, markets and technology. They will call for real and effective participation of rural women in decision-making bodies in the agricultural sector. They will propose the creation of a national tripartite roundtable on Rural Women’s Economic and Social Policy, to be led by the Ministry of Agriculture. They will take a photo with a banner saying we work the land
In El Salvador the women will march down one of the capital’s busiest streets, calling for State institutions to include rural women’s needs in government and legal instruments related to food security, and for women’s effective participation in their design. They will end the march at the Legislative Assembly where they hope to hold a meeting with the Commission of Economy and Agriculture to share their main demands with members of parliament. Their photo will carry the message we produce food
In Honduras a native seed fair will be carried out outside Congress and the women will participate in a forum on climate change and food sovereignty in the Plaza Colprosumah. Their photo message will be we demand land and investment

In the Dominican Republic the women will carry out a technical forum to analyze the state of rural women’s right to food in the country, together with key state representatives and specialists. They will highlight their contribution and their demands, and hold up rural women as a model for the campesino struggle. Their banner for the photo will say recognition
In Guatemala the mobilization will take place in two cities. There will be debates on rural women’s struggle for food sovereignty and land. The women will analyze the impact of climate change on rural women’s lives, production models, and much more. To these debates they will invite rural women’s organizations, feminists, women leaders from mixed organizations, research centres, women members of parliament and other national and international civil society actors. Their photo will read and justice!
Finally in Mexico the women will discuss agrarian reform in the city of Puebla, and in Mexico City they will debate the situation of rural women. They will close the photo stunt with a picture of the GROW logo.

 On 15 October we will gather the photos from all eight countries and show how women all over Latin America are coming together to move forward. The sentence in the end will express the message they send every day through their actions:
Women: We transform the world, we work the land, we produce food, we demand land and investment, recognition and justice! GROW

The Photos from Rural Women Rock Our World, In Latin America.


  1. Wow -- what an informative article and what a powerful message from women across an entire continent! If the leaders of Latin America didn't receive the message these women put forth, then there is something greatly wrong.

    Thanks for opening our eyes to a world and culture other than our own. I confess that I am one of those who typically just focus in on information and people who follow my same ideals, interests and values. Thanks for making me aware that the world we live in is so much more than my own little corner.

    -- kimB

  2. A fabulous post Kasse! This is a wonderful reminder that we ARE part of a much larger world and not only should Rural Women everywhere learn about one another but support one another as well. Thanks for the links, can't wait to start reading them!

  3. WoooWho! I can finally post on my own blog:) Thanks ladies for joining in. I'm hoping we can get connected to some of our wonderful Latin sisters individually. Working on that one. Thanks for commenting!

    Kasse D.

  4. This was an awesome posting. Thanks for taking the time to help open our eyes to the fact that we should not take our lives for granted.

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