Grassroots International

Women | Page 10 of 10

  • Women and the Food Crisis

    Since I started my internship with Grassroots International in May, I have come to realize the true magnitude of the food crisis. The way that the economic system produces and distributes food is leaving far too many people hungry and jobless. Throughout my research, I studied the effect that the crisis has had on women, and I believe that their role, though historically overlooked, is crucial to finding a sustainable solution.  I believe, along with everyone at Grassroots International, that women's economic and land rights are not just rights that they deserve as people, but steps that must be taken in order to bring the world out of the food crisis.

  • Brazilian Peasant Women Embody the Spirit of International Women’s Day

    In celebration of International Womens Day on Saturday, we at Grassroots would like to honor 900 peasant women who bravely seized and occupied a vast corporate tree farm in southern Brazil that they believe symbolizes the type of development that is destroying their communities and Mother Earth itself.

    It could not have been easy.

    The women, members of the Via Campesina, staged thetakeover just before dawn on Tuesday, then proceeded to cut down the corporations trees and plant native trees in their place. At least 50 women were injured by rubber bullets and other material when police forcefully removed them from the 5,200-acre farm. Hundreds of them were reportedly arrested.

  • Central America’s Women Fighting Oppression

    [In September 2007, Saulo Araujo, our Global Programs Assistant, is visiting our partners in Mesoamerica. He'll be reporting back about resource rights and food sovereignty issues in the region. This is the first of a series of three articles. --Ed.]

    As I waited for my flight to El Salvador on Tuesday, I decided to browse the newspapers for news about the election in Guatemala and saw a small blurb about the defeat of Rigoberta Menchu. The newspaper article reads that Rigoberta Menchu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, received only 3% of the valid ballots in last Sunday's presidential election in Guatemala.

  • Via Campesina Brazil’s Women Are for Food Sovereignty and against Agribusiness

    Today, March 6th, Grassroots International received an announcement from the Via Campesina Brazil. The women of the Via Campesina Brazil are honoring International Women's Day by organizing land occupations and protests against large Brazilian and transnational corporations who own and exploit huge tracts of Brazilian land and labor for monocultured cultivation of trees for cellulose for export. The women refer to these huge tracts of land planted only with such trees as the "green deserts" of Brazil - green deserts because they produce no food and very little employment, and are also environmentally damaging. Please read the announcement of our partners below:

  • Democracy: In Which You Say What We Want and Do What You’re Told (With Apologies to Dave Barry)

    A recent World Bank report observed that the Palestinian economy was in the throes of "one of the deepest recessions in modern history exceeding the scale of economic losses suffered by the U.S. in the Great Depression, or Argentina during the recent financial collapse." More than one out of three available labor force participants are unemployed. And to keep pace with the expanding available labor force, 30,000 new jobs would have to be created each year. The highest percentage of unemployment is concentrated among youth: 37.2% among 15-19 year olds and 36.3% among 20-24 year olds.

  • Human Rights Violations Against Representatives of Women’s Organizations in Brazil

    March 28th, 2006 —On March 8th, International Women's Day, a group of more than 1,200 women from the Via Campesina took action to denounce the environmental and social injustice committed by corporations and a global agrarian policy that puts the needs of the market ahead of the needs of people. These corporations use vast tracts of land in Brazil for plantations of eucalyptus and pine to produce paper and lumber for export. The Movement of Women Peasants in Brazil points out that this monoculture creates "green deserts" that actually increase poverty instead of reducing it. As the members of the women's movement say, "We want land to grow food. We don't eat eucalyptus."

  • Bold Actions in Brazil for International Women’s Day

    Grassroots International wishes you a happy International Women's Day!

    I want to share with you a declaration from women from the Via Campesina in Brazil. The women are in Porto Alegre, Brazil during the Second World Conference of Agrarian Reform and Rural Development — the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN. They have set up a parallel forum entitled, "Land, Territory and Dignity". They set out on a march early this morning to shout out their vision of equal land and water rights for all. It's a very hopeful vision, especially for the multitudes of women around the world denied access to these precious, life-giving resources.

  • Social Change=Strong Women at the Forefront

    Imagine that your family, descended from freed slaves, has been working the same plot of land where your ancestors once toiled in bondage for generations. Now imagine waking up one morning to find that your government has sold the land out from under you to foreign speculators. What would you do?

    When it happened to Dona Maria de Jesus, or Dona DeJe as she is affectionately called, she knew she had only one choice: fight for her community and for her rights.

    Brazilian Bishop on Hunger Strike In Defense of Sao Francisco River

  • Rafah Nakba

    The following is a note from Heba Zayyan, the PR Officer at the Women's Affairs Center, one of GRI's partners in Gaza. For the fourth consecutive day, the Israeli Defense Forces have expanded their brutal military offensive in Rafah town and refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip.

    How can one's sanity accept what's happening now in Rafah? 120 houses at least were demolished whose habitants (200 families) are totally living in tents. It is another nakba in the Palestinians' life in the full meaning of the word. How far can one believe that people, secure in their homes at night are being called to leave without delay, not given time to collect some their belongings or even their ID cards? What's happening in Rafah carries the brutal barbarianism of the Israelis that's done in the name of protection of borders. How can we still believe in peace and democracy if people who demonstrate against the unexplainable Israeli violence, will get killed by heavy missiles? The first line of the demonstration was children who were enthusiastic and innocent enough to ahead the demonstration. Where are these children now? They are all uprooted from their dreams of a liberate state to be shattered into pieces.

  • Another Countryside Is Possible

    Satellite internet on a mountainside in the heart of Haiti's Central Plateau - only one of the achievements, among many, of the Mouvman Peyizan Papay - The Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP). The oldest and best organized of Haiti's peasant organizations, the MPP, is celebrating International Worker's Day tomorrow with a large agricultural fair drawing peasants from various regional associations to celebrate and demonstrate what can be done when peasants put their heads together.

  • Notes from a Program Visit to Palestine

    The following are some notes and stories from some of the places we saw and the people we met. These are just a few of the many scenes I go back to over and over again when I reflect on this trip.

    The Passion

    We were walking through the narrow streets of old city in Bethlehem with Fatima. She wanted to show us the cultural center that her uncle had opened just outside of Manger Square so we ducked into the building. Our friend pointed out the gardens, the galleries, the classrooms and finally the theater. The theater was offering nightly showings of The Passion of the Christ, the new, controversial film by Mel Gibson that details Jesus' final days. Although I have yet to see this film, I've heard from those that have seen it that it is incredibly bloody and gruesome, certainly not for the squeamish. Fatima, who had seen the film twice, confirmed this.

  • Palestine: In Their Own Words

    We returned a few hours ago from Bethlehem where we visited the Ibdaa Cultural Center in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp. Unfortunately, our visit was cut short by the news of a nearby shooting. A young man was shot and killed by the Israeli Defense Forces near Rachel's Tomb. The man was from Dheisheh. The news of his death spread rapidly throughout the camp and the Ibdaa Cultural Center, usually lively and filled with kids, was empty. Only the dance troupe remained in the building, practicing for an upcoming tour. The people were angry and were anticipating the arrival of Israeli troops. It seemed wise to leave.

    So, I'm exhausted after this day and rather than filling this page with my own thoughts, I decided to let the Palestinians tell a bit of their own story. I have pulled for you a number of quotes from people we've met. This is by no means meant to be a complete picture — it is intended solely to give you a flavor of some of what we are hearing.