RWA Swaziland: International Day of Peasant Struggles Commemoration

This year the Swaziland Rural Women’s Assembly (SRWA) joined her regional sisters in a webinar to celebrate the day of peasants’ struggles. On the International Day of Peasants\’ struggles the world recognizes the essential contribution of peasants and other people working in rural areas such as small farmers, artisanal fishers, landless rural workers, and Indigenous Peoples to feeding communities and ensuring food systems flourish all over the world. Peasants’ rights include the rights to food, food sovereignty, an adequate standard of living, seeds, land, and other natural resources, and to a safe, clean, and a healthy environment. These rights should be protected and respected even during times of conflict to ensure rural life recovers and food systems are safeguarded after the conflict ends.Swaziland is still far from implementing the declaration as women still don\’t acquire land from rural areas, women are still chased away from their homes mostly when the husband dies. Moreover there is no policy that protects our own traditional seeds. Instead, the seed industry is dominated by GMOs that come with multinational companies and the seeds they make these GMOs from are stolen from peasants.Swaziland is among countries who has not signed the United Declaration on the Rights of Peasant (UNDROP) but SRWA is doing a campaign to ensure the implementation of the UNDROP in order for women to be able to have access to land as enshrined in the Swazi constitution which on itself is not implemented by the traditional authorities.SRWA through the campaign sensitizes peasants women on farmer managed seed systems to ensure that traditional seed are protected and there are seed banks from household, community, regional, and National level. SRWA is also collecting traditional wild vegetables and domesticating them as they are getting lost. There is currently only one national seed bank in Swaziland which is located at Marlkens under Manzini region.In her campaign SRWA calls for the government to:

  • Put in place policies that protects the traditional seedsFully implement 211 of the constitution of Swaziland by giving land to women without obstaclesPromote farmer managed seed systemsImplement the UNDROP

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