Grassroots international joins with our partners at the Via Campesina in denouncing violence of all kinds against women — including personal and structural. No woman should fear to live in her home, be barred from owning the land she farms or experieince barriers to full livelihood and dignity.
Below is a statement from the Via Campesina, whose global Campaign to End VIolence Against Women continues to march forward, changing laws and pushing for justice. Grassroots International is proud to fund and support that work.
On this International Day of Action Against Violence Towards Women, La Via Campesina is again denouncing the structural violence that women have to confront each day and that has been systematically silenced, made to appear natural, and rendered invisible by patriarchal capitalist society.
In 2008, in its Vth Conference, La Via Campesina launched the Global Campaign to End Violence Towards Women, both as an urgent appeal for a social, cultural, and political change in peoples, in communities, and in organisations, and as a challenge to society as a whole to effect a cultural transformation in order to overcome the relations of inequality between men and women.
Violence and oppression against women existed in pre-capitalist societies, but it is since the onset of capitalism that violence in all its forms – political, economic, physical, and pyschological – has intensified. Today, violence against women is found among all social classes, generations, and sexual orientations, affecting both urban women and rural women.
For La Via Campesina, the violence experienced nowadays by rural women is directly related to agribusiness and to capitalist production methods, which exploit and dispossess peasant women who have, historically, guaranteed Food Sovereignty for their Peoples, and who are the caretakers of ancestral knowledge -both with respect to food production and to biodiversity conservation.
Agribusiness is the strategy of patriarchal capitalism in the countryside, one which ignores the essential role of women in peasant agriculture. Neo-liberal structural adjustment policies have exacerbated the conditions of oppression, discrimination, and increasing violence suffered by rural women.
This November 25th, 2014, women across the world are calling for a day of mobilisation and denunciation, challenging ourselves to strengthen our forms of resistance and struggle, in order to make a definitive break with the silence imposed by capitalist patriarchal hypocrisy and to establish new human relations.
Our political project as La Via Campesina is to construct a new vision of society that is based on the principles of respect, equality, justice, solidarity, peace and freedom, and which is linked to the struggles for land, water, seeds, comprehensive land reform, Food Sovereignty with gender justice, and for the dignity of rural peoples.