Manifest der Frauen von Via Campesina



We are peasant women of the world that in the course of
these 20 years of Via Campesina have worked tenaciously to build a
universal, broadly based democratic, politically and socially 
engaged movement in the defense of peasant agriculture, food 
sovereignty and the struggle for the land, territories justice, 
equality and the dignity of peasant women and men. 

We are women from various continents and cultures, with common 
histories and struggles for life, our emancipation and that of our 
peoples, coupled with the ethical and political imperative of 
protecting the right to food, defending peasant agriculture, 
biodiversity, our natural resources and the struggling to end 
violence in every form, sharpened before this capitalist and
patriarchal economical system. 

"Via Campesina is a movement that recognizes the full equality and 
value of both men and women" 

This is clearly established in the conclusions of our 
III International Conference in Bangalore. Via Campesina, through a 
structural change, guarantees that peasant women and men in the 
movement share responsibilities equally seeking to strengthen open 
and democratic processes in our international structure. 

We deliver this Manifesto and its political statement, to the women 
of the world and to the VI Via Campesina International Conference, 
as input for the deliberations, for the work, the action and the 
struggles that we continue to develop around the world. Going 
forward in the unity and the action for the full
incorporation of women on equal terms in the political, economic,
social and cultural aspects, eliminating the discrimination that 
affects us in our daily lives, in agricultural areas and indigenous 
communities, is a task of all of us, both men and women. 

In these two decades of life, struggle and hope of Via Campesina, 
we women have had a key role in pushing forward the 
political/organizational strategies for the future, fighting day by 
day for the defense of Mother Earth, our territories, against the 
looting, the devastation, the death and oppression caused by
entrepreneurial and colonial capitalism. 

In these two decades deep changes in the life conditions of rural 
women around the world were made, capitalist invasion in the fields 
and the appropriation of food systems by the multinational companies 
have led millions of peasants to incorporate themselves into paid 
labor, causing severe migration processes, forced displacements and 
land losses, precipitating many changes inside families where women 
must assume the greatest responsibilities for the economic support 
of the family. The emigration of women from the countryside is 
closely related to the impoverishment and the levels of violence 
that women and girls suffer, and this situation is more severe 
because of the discrimination they also suffer in the recipient 
countries. Despite this situation women that have migrated have
became important to the support of their families since in many 
cases remittances constitute the principal income of their families. 

Confronting this reality is one of the fundamental objectives of 
struggle of women and the entire Via Campesina. Our biggest step 
towards ending injustice in the world is taken by breaking the 
poverty cycle and granting the rightful place that we peasants have 
to provide and guarantee sufficient and balanced food for the 
peoples, recognizing the central role of women in food production. 

However, tragically, far from decreasing, poverty has increased in 
recent years in most countries. Studies of United Nations agencies 
and the World Bank, indicate that this situation is worsening and 
the gap of wealth distribution has expanded, presenting to the 
agricultural sectors the grim picture of increased poverty, where 
women continue to suffer the more dramatic effects. Ending these 
shameful inequalities of class, gender and ethnicity that affect 
millions of women worldwide and eliminating the scourge of hunger 
and violence is a constant struggle that governments and parliaments 
of the world need to take into account when legislating and 
approving laws searching to guarantee the comprehensive development 
of dignified lives of rural women and their communities in the whole


"To us, the peasant and indigenous women, the land is more than a 
means of production. It is a space of life, culture, identity, an 
emotional and spiritual environment. Because of that, it's not a 
commodity, but a fundamental component of life, which is accessed 
by rights that are inalienable and only allocated through property 
and access systems defined by each people or nation". 

Equal access to land for men and women is a fundamental component 
of overcoming poverty and discrimination. The assumption that fair 
access to land can be achieved through market mechanisms and 
individual property is far from representing the views and 
aspirations of indigenous and peasant women.

We women demand a comprehensive Agrarian Reform to redistribute land
with our full participation and integration throughout the process, 
ensuring not only access to land, but to all the instruments and 
mechanisms on an equal footing, with a just appreciation of our 
productive and reproductive work, where rural areas guarantee a 
dignified and fair life for us. 


To protect and enhance our ways of doing and improving agriculture, 
our seeds, markets, foods, using our knowledge, our science and our 

To encourage and generate appropriate public policies and programs 
for our cultures and ways of life, with resources that make viable 
peasant production, ensuring food sovereignty and the rights of 
peasants men and women withsocial justice. 

In this way the access to land for us rests on a comprehensive 
Agrarian Reform that promotes the development of a management model 
that places at the center of the process the social function of land 
and the peasants' and the indigenous peoples' practices of land use 
and production, ensuring the human needs to food as a fundamental 
right for life. 


"To maintain dignity and the land, to keep alive and strengthened 
our own food production, to recover food self-sufficiency to the 
greatest extent possible, to protect the water, to exercise in 
practice Food Sovereignty, it's time for us to value, in all its 
dimensions, the role of women in the development of our agricultures" 

Our struggle and action for Food Sovereignty has given us women the 
opportunity to make visible our historical participation in the 
development of the food systems in the world and the role we have 
played since the invention of agriculture, in collection and 
propagation of the seeds, in the protection and preservation of 
biodiversity and genetic resources, placing us as primary emotional,
ethical and social pillars. 

The dominant model "is the food processing industry and the large
supermarket chains that standardize production and concentrate much 
of the wealth created by the sector. The resistance and the 
alternative to this standardization of consumption is in food 
diversification and other forms of relation and consumption where 
the producers have their work valued, and the consumer decent wages 
to purchase food of their choice". (Nyeleni Miriam Nobre) 

Under the slogan "the food is not an issue of market, but of 
sovereignty", we have been defining our sovereign rights to decide 
and organize the distribution, exchange and consumption of
food in quantity and quality according to our possibilities and 
needs, prioritizing solidarity, cultural, social, health and welfare 
factors for the Jakarta, Indonesia, 7th of June 2013benefit of our 
families and our rural and indigenous communities. 

We can affirm that we have taken up the fight and the exercise of 
Food Sovereignty. In order to reach this objective we have worked 
hard "to summon all our knowledge, to recover our seeds, multiplying 
them, care for them, swap them and let them walk again, grow and 
multiply by our fields without hindrance or aggression". This has 
put us in an opposition to intellectual property, certification 
rules, GMOs and Pesticides. 

Women's work and power within families and in movements must be 
recognized, including the economic and productive value of seed 
selection and food production by women, which requires personal 
and collective processes, of us and our partners. The economic 
contribution that our work represents to agriculture, the household 
economy and macro economic indicators of the nations must be 

We are convinced that the most significant and revolutionary 
proposal of Via Campesina has been to initiate Food Sovereignty as 
distinct from the food security proposals of the FAO and the 
Governments, seeking a solution to hunger through food security, 
understood as the availability of food and the financial capacity 
to purchase, leaves food in the hands of the market forces that
are resulting in a global scourge of hunger, and suffering for a 
billion human beings in the world. 


"Women, historical creators of knowledge in agriculture and food, 
continue to produce 80% of food in the poorest countries, are 
currently the main guardians of biodiversity and crop seeds, being 
the more affected by neo-liberal and sexist policies".
(Nyeleni women statement) 

Neoliberal adjustment policies have deepened the conditions of 
oppression, discrimination and increased violence against women and 
girls in rural areas, insecurity and instability in the work of 
women, and the lack of social protection, allowing for further 
exploitation with increased working hours becoming common, and a
climate of violence undermines our dignity. Anti-capitalist and
anti-patriarchal struggle go hand in hand with the struggle for 
gender equality and against oppression of traditional societies and 
sexist, individualist and consumerist modern societies, based on 
market dominance. Our political project is to move toward a new 
vision of the world, built on the principles of,
equality, justice, solidarity, peace and freedom, waging battles to 
take forward the fight jointly by: 


Initiating immediate actions and measures in order to erradicate 
violent and sexist practicies and physical, verbal and psycological 
aggressions in our organizations, in our families and in society; 

Ensuring equality of gender and no discrimination; 

Fighting without compromise against all forms of violence in rural 
areas, against the increasing militarization and
criminalization of the movements and social struggles in most 
countries in the world, adding to this the introduction of 
antiterrorist laws that are used against peasants and indigenous 
people, the main victims of the worst attacks and abuses committed 
in the name of law. We express our firm decision to struggle and 
mobilize for justice, equality and peace in our territories and in 
the world; 

Building proposals and lines of action that our movement need to 
advance the socio-political processes and technical training with 
teaching methods aimed at raising awareness in communities to 
political views and cultural barriers to advance gender equality; 

Strengthening mechanisms for participation of rural women in the 
formulation of public policy proposals and programs both internally 
and externally, to ensure resources for development, both locally 
and globally and the management of these, expanding access education 
and technology. 

Confronting patriarchy means recognizing privileges and myths of 
male superiority, re-socialize and sensitize leaders studying the 
history of women, in order to evaluate it. Until now, women have 
taken the lead, but it requires equal involvement to move forward 
from declarations to concrete practices. The organized peasant women 
are convinced that the future is promising, as there is no 
possibility of moving back in the progress and triumphs achieved, 
and even less so in the minds of women. Fighting for the 
"sovereignty of the land, the territory and the body" saying no to
violence against women in all its forms. 

Because of this and inspired by the debates of the women of Latin 
America and their process of constructing a political proposal for 
the construction of a base for "Popular Peasant Feminism" our 
Assembly has taken on the challenge to also expand this debate 
within the organizations of La Via Campesina at an international 


Jakarta, Indonesia, 7th of June 2013


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