Message of support to Women Farmers Day, India
From: Care Income Now! A network coordinated by Global Women’s Strike and Women of Colour in GWS
We stand in solidarity with the women farmers of India, whether they are farmers of small family holdings or farm labourers, who are demanding the scrapping of Modi’s three Farm Acts: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act; Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
We agree with you that the government’s Acts would starve millions and millions, starting with women and girl children. 70% of agricultural work is done by women but only 10.34 % of India’s land is owned by women. We are horrified that thousands of farmers have been driven to suicide and that ending the public distribution system of grains and removing price supports threatens the lives of many more.
Between breastfeeding, growing crops, and preparing and cooking food, women feed the world but get little or nothing in return. As Nawa Chattisgarh Mahila Samiti (NCMS) says: “Women farm labourers are doing the housework, the caring work of looking after their children and families, and have to go to work in the fields of the landowners. Women Dalit and Adivasi labourers are paid even less than the men.”
Women in our network speak of similar situations. In Nigeria and Uganda, women farmers seldom own the land, and face rape and other violence when tending crops in the midst of armed conflict and corporate landgrabs. Rural communities in Thailand fighting for collective land titles to grow food communally and be self-sufficient, face death threats from corporations wanting to grow cash crops and extract natural resources. Contract farm workers in Myanmar are losing their land and livelihoods, and being forced to emigrate by environmental devastation and agribusiness. In Haiti a US-backed government has organised paramilitary death squads against rural and urban communities.
In this time of Covid people are struggling even more to survive and the poorer we are the harder it is.
Wherever we are, we are campaigning for a Care Income for mothers and all who are nurturing the land and soil, caring for farm animals, and defending the natural world from corporate expansion which threatens the life of the planet and all our lives.
Women and men throughout the world, farmers or not, must support your struggle – your victory is a victory for all of us. Power to the women and therefore to all the farmers movements for 18 January Women Farmers Day and 26 January Republic Day protests.
Naya Jamana Ayega! A New Age is Coming!