Advancement Of Women\’s Rights In Food Production – Feminist Agroecology

As we are heading to the month of August, a month that recognizes the hard work of women and their struggles that they face in life. South Africa was the first country to sign and welcome the UNDROP Act in the SADC region. UNDROP Act is a declaration on the rights of peasants which seeks to avail all the factors of production to people and main focus to women. Rural Women Assembly is working with women across the Southern African region to educate women about the importance of understanding the UNDROP Act because it focuses on their rights.

Feminist Agroecology is all about aligning agroecology to gender equality. Women\’s input on agroecology were never taken into consideration when it comes to food systems. However, agroecology seeks to empower women to have access to factors of production such as land rights and seed saving. Lopez and Johna Tinis page 17 women\’s dis-empowerment directly hinders agroecology is male dominance (patriarchy) continually manifests itself as a hindrance or stumbling block to advancement of agroecology transition by hindering women\’s free expression. When it comes to land it has patriarchal hindrances that comes through culture and other practices that happens in most rural areas whereby women are not permitted to own land in their own rights, regardless of them being the food producers in most families. In most families are women headed and it\’s women that see that there is food on the table.

Not only women see that there\’s food on the table but are also guardians of seeds. Agroecology acknowledges women as guardians of seeds and seeds are an intracranial part of the food system, without seeds one can not be a food sovereignty. It is women that do the most of the work.

In township areas like Mdantsane in East London, women occupy the unused land that was used as a dumping site. They cleaned the area so that they can utilise it to do guerilla gardening. Rural Women Assembly in the Eastern Cape participated in the guerilla garden by educating women on what agroecology is all about so that their project becomes a success. In our days life is becoming harder and more difficult so to fight poverty women will occupy and use whatever available land at their disposal so that they can feed their families.

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