Monday, June 5th, 2023, from 11 am
Associazione della Stampa Estera in Italia
(Via dell’Umiltà, 83, Rome, Italy)
“Making Peace with the Earth Through Diversity, Mutuality, Non-Violence & Care”
An Ecofeminist Manifesto
Press Conference with Dr Vandana Shiva in Rome
On June 5th at 11 am, on the occasion of International Environment Day, Dr Vandana Shiva, President of Navdanya International, launches the Diverse Women for Diversity’s Ecofeminist Manifesto “Making Peace with the Earth – Through Diversity, Mutuality, Non-Violence & Care” at the International Press Conference Office in Rome, Via dell’Umiltà, 83.
Among the speakers: Nadia El Hage Scialabba, Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, Nicoletta Dentico, Head of the Global Health Justice Program at Society for International Development (SID), Silvia Francescon, Head of the Ecology Programme of the Italian Buddhist Union (UBI), Elisa d’Aloisio, coordinator of the GMO-free Italian Coalition.
In a context of escalating climate chaos and conflict over natural and economic resources, this year, from 2nd to 8th of March more than a hundred women from all continents converged at the Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm. The meeting ended with the drafting of a collective document to spread and amplify the voices of women farmers, activists, seed savers, and researchers from all over the world. The document, “Making Peace with the Earth – Through Diversity, mutuality, Care, and Nonviolence. An Ecofeminist Manifesto” gathers the voices of women farmers and women movements, and collectively denounces the social and ecological responsibilities of industrial agriculture and the neoliberal economy.
The Manifesto stands as a call to action to world leaders, grassroots movements, and international organizations to shift from a paradigm of greed, extractivism, and separation of humanity from Nature towards an Economy of Care, nurturing the ecosystems we depend on, and repairing the damage that we have so far produced. Industrial Agriculture, with its inherent reliance on chemical pesticides, fertilizers, fossil fuels, and monocultures has widely been acknowledged as one of the most pervasive contributors to ecosystem depletion, biodiversity loss, and greenhouse gas emissions.
The pesticide, herbicide, and chemical fertilizers industry as well as intensive monocultures are responsible for massive ecocide worldwide. Moreover, highly-processed industrial food coming from intensive agricultural practices and long supply chains has poor nutritive properties and is considered responsible for increasing chronic and non-transmittable diseases, with negative impacts on society, human health, and collective well-being.
Solutions promoted by the agro-industry to meet the world’s food needs in the face of climate change are based on technological innovations and presented as the only possible option. These technological solutions are the product of a mechanistic worldview that sees nature as inert matter that can be engineered and manipulated to suit our needs. Technological fixes are designed to serve the interests of big business and help them consolidate control over the food system.
We are witnessing processes of deregulation and strong campaigning in support of the new gene editing techniques which are revolutionizing the GMO sector, pushing genetically edited crops and seeds as a solution for climate adaptation and increasing uncertainty in the agricultural sector.
Today, the DWD movement is showing that women are once again at the forefront, defending biodiversity, seed freedom, and food sovereignty. Women activists, scientists, and scholars are at the forefront of shaping new scientific and economic paradigms. Women are reclaiming seed sovereignty and building food security around the world. As seed keepers and food producers, as mothers and eaters, women are engaged in creating a food system that is aligned with the Earth’s ecological processes, that protects health, and that abides the laws of human rights and social justice.
A few data
Just 26.8 % of government ministers responsible for policies on environment and climate change are women, while 73.2 % are men. Although this represents a significant gender imbalance, the proportion of women is the highest since data was first collected in 2012 (19.2 %). [Source]
Women make up 43 percent of the global agricultural labor force, yet they face significant discrimination when it comes to land and livestock ownership, equal pay, participation in decision-making entities and access to credit and financial services. [Source]
In every region of the world, women are at greater risk of food insecurity and hunger than men. As is identified in the SDGs, secure land rights for women are a necessary prerequisite for the eradication of poverty and hunger, and the establishment of gender equality. [Source]
80% of people displaced by climate change are women.
Covid-19 also shed light on the power women can have in leadership. A study of 194 countries found that pandemic responses were systematically better in countries led by women. Data also shows that Covid-19 deaths were lower in states with a female governor.
According to the Goldman Environmental Prize, what some call the “Nobel Prize” for the environment, approximately 60% of more than 200 hundred prize winners are women.
Women farmers feed the world. Managing 70% of smallholder farms in Africa, women provide more than half of all nutrition to people living on the continent.
According to the UN, when provided the same resources as men, women can increase agricultural yields by 20-30%, reducing hunger by 12-17%. [Source]