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DWD Festival: Celebrating Diverse Women for Diversity at Navdanya Farm

2 – 8 March 2023

More than 150 women from all over the world gathered at Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm in Dehradun for the Diverse Women for Diversity Gathering and International Festival, as well as for the Celebration of International Women's Day and Holi with natural colours. The Diverse Women for Diversity (DWD), an international network of women, emerged as a Southern response to the threats to cultural and biological diversity posed by globalisation. Founded in 1997, following the Conference on Plant Genetic Resources in Leipzig in June 1996, the movement today has a presence in all continents. The moment aims at building and concentrating women's energies to articulate and provide alternatives based on equality, justice, sustainability and peace.
On March 4th, the Diverse Women or Diversity International Festival took place. Groups from Mahila Anna Swaraj – Women network for Food Sovereignty shared and sewed together a huge variety of indigenous seeds. International and national groups of women celebrated the sacred Mother Earth through a mandala garden while singing prayers dedicated to the importance of seeds for living and healthy ecosystems.  Link to photo gallery
Press Release: Diverse Women for Diversity United for a Diverse Future
The program continued in Charba, Vikasnagar, for a celebration of the Gift of Seed, and in Ponta Gurudwara for a celebration of the Gift of Food. By singing and dancing together all the women joined their hands becoming one community, united in diversity. Gift of Food, Gift of Seed, Gift of Life, they all come from care and love. The same care and love that we can learn from nature and Mother Earth. Link to photo gallery
On 8 March, International Women’s Day, which this year falls on the same day of Holi, a celebration of Women and Biodiversity took place, taking inspiration from the diversity of nature through colours and food, preparing plant-based natural colours and cooking together special traditional foods. 25 years ago, Navdanya also initiated the movement of making natural colours for Holi, as alternatives to the toxic colours that harm our water, soils and ecosystems.
Article by Dr Vandana Shiva: Holi: the colours of biodiversity
Press Release: Happy International Women’s Day and Happy Holi
The Diverse Women for Diversity group also drafted an Open Letter from Diverse Women for Diversity to world leaders to welcome and support the decision of the Mexican government, through the presidential decree, to phase out the use of GMOs and glyphosate, as well as to express their outrage and dismay towards the Government of the United States, trying to pressure the government of Mexico to impose GMO transgenic Corn in violation of Mexico´s sovereignty and its sovereign rights enshrined in international agreements.
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