A DRAFT INTERNATIONAL PETITION
On the occasion of the 2023 Oxford Real Farming Conference (4-6 January)
A care income for all caring work for people and planet
Caring for others is the foundation of every society. Yet this work, done mostly by women, in the home, on the land and in the community, is devalued, unwaged or low waged, leading to poverty, dependence and endless work. The pandemic and above all the climate emergency have forced us to recognise that caring for and protecting people and the natural world must become the universal priority.
Regenerating the land, the air and the seas is essential to stopping and reversing ecological destruction and climate change. But those in charge of the world, their corporations and their weapons, are hijacking our present and our future in their insane pursuit of profit and power. They are endangering our very survival, starting with those of us in the Global South and in Indigenous and working-class communities, often immigrant and/or of colour, everywhere.
Enough wealth has been accumulated to pay for the reproduction of life rather than subsidise the endless growth of destructive and polluting industries.
As part of a dynamic change of direction we demand a guaranteed income for all – of all genders and identities, beginning with mothers, Indigenous peoples and natural farmers – who do the work of:
- caring for people of every age and condition;
- protecting and regenerating the land and the water from poisonous chemicals which ruin the soil, the health of those who work it, the nutritional value of the food, and the climate;
- defending human rights and the natural world, risking their lives;
- surviving and resisting the climate change we did not cause which, following centuries of imperialist plunder, is endangering lives and livelihoods in the Global South, forcing millions to leave their home and all they hold dear.
For more information and to be more involved please write to email@example.com with PETITION in the subject or call 020 7482 2496.
Global Women’s Strike https://globalwomenstrike.net/
Women of Colour GWS https://globalwomenstrike.net/womenofcolour/
Payday men’s network: http://www.refusingtokill.net/
Some key facts:
- Women and girls do more than three-quarters of all unpaid care work – a total of 12.5 billion hours a day. The market values unwaged work at $10.8 trillion but never suggests that those who do it should get any of it.Unpaid family carers (overwhelming women but also children) save governments billions (£193 billion per year in the UK alone).
- Women are the pillars of subsistence farming and agroecology. Women produce most of the food consumed locally, making small farms central to poverty reduction, gender equality and women’s empowerment. Small farms are more productive per acre than large farms and better for ecosystem and biodiversity conservation. (Inclusion Pays: The Returns on Investing in Women in Agriculture, 2022)
- To incentivize restoration, governments need to step in to help pay people for the services provided by their land. When restoration doesn’t pay, it doesn’t happen. (Repurposing Agricultural Subsidies to Restore Degraded Farmland and Grow Rural Prosperity,2021)
- In Andhra Pradesh, India, a non-profit organization, Rythu Sahikara Samstha, established by the state government, is implementing chemical free Community Managed Natural Farming, working in village clusters through women’s self-help groups. They intend for all six million farmers to implement CMNF by 2024. Chief adviser, Dr Vijay Kumar, urges that farmers transforming the land in this way should not be entirely dependent on the market – they should be entitled to an income for their work for all humanity.
- Indigenous peoples who are less than 5% of the human population, support around 80% of the planet’s biodiversity.
- At least 1,733 land and environmental defenders have been murdered over the last decade, the vast majority with impunity. Over 45 per cent of deadly attacks worldwide are linked to extractive industries.
- Globally governments spend $1.8 trillion a year subsidising the most polluting industries—fossil fuels, agriculture, forestry, water, construction, transport, and marine capture fisheries. A much larger $5.9 trillion includeshidden subsidy of not paying for the deaths they cause and global warming.
- Global agricultural subsidies amount to $540 billion a year (expected to climb to $1.8tr by 2030). 87% of these subsidies are harmful to people and the environment.
- The US military, the world’s largest single polluter, creates 750,000 tons of toxic waste every year. 160 million people were killed in military conflict in the 20th century, more than 2m already in this century, the majority women, children and people of colour. Currently, between 38 and 60 million people are war refugees, half of whom are children while the arms industry is thriving.