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“Be Proud to Become a Farmwoman!” say Elizabeth Mpofu

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-Germany-farm-visit.JPG(Germany,Teisendorf, January 21, 2014)(al) It is certainly not an everyday occurrence, that a woman from Zimbabwe, who runs a small farm in that country, congratulates a young woman from Bavaria for her decision to also run a small farm and tells her to be proud of that decision.  Elizabeth Mpofu is, however, not an everyday woman, but the general secretary of the worldwide peasant organization “Via Campesina”, an association of more than 160 independent peasant organizations in 63 countries.  Mpofu has experienced on her own body and in her own mind, what it means to want to be a small-farmer.  She and her husband work on their plot of about ten hectares in the South-East-African Country.  The difficulties, that she has had and still has to overcome, not only in an economic way, in the pursuance of her profession as a farmer, are at least as great, as those facing a young farm-woman in Bavaria.

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Femicide and Impunity: A humanitarian crisis in Central America, and a growing problem worldwide

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_women_photo8scaled.jpgEl Salvador has had the highest rate of femicide in the world, with 2, 250 femicides between 2010 and 2013. Guatemala has the third and Honduras the seventh highest rate of femicides.   In Guatemala, only 2% of murdered women's cases were investigated in 2013 and likewise in Honduras less than 2% were investigated.  For cases that somehow make it to court in Guatemala, 90% of defendants are not convicted. It is much the same in El Salvador.  In 2014 alone, between January and October, over 300  bodies of young women between the ages of 12 and 18 years old have been found in unmarked common  graves.

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La Via Campesina: Day of Action Against Violence Towards Women

La Via Campesina  Press Release

postalEN.jpgOn 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.

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Mozambique: Women prevented from fetching firewood and other forest products in Nacala Corridor

ISAURA SUZETE*

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_women_anapaula.mulheres.jpgEvidence of the effects of land grabbing in the region, where ProSavana is being implemented, on the peasants particularly women is beginning to show. In Nampula province, women are being prevented from passing in the areas where the foreign companies operate. They cannot access the firewood or gather wild foods. This reality was reported during a discussion panel on “Structural challenges to development of peasant agriculture in Mozambique: peoples’ demands in regard to ProSavana”, at the Second Triangular Conference of the Peoples, held on 24 July 2014, in Maputo.

In this panel, many reports were made on the violation of the access rights to land of women in particular. In rural areas, women are the ones who work the land to provide for their families and fetch firewood to cook.

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