“Food sovereignty” as a transformative model of economic power

The argument is being made, “food sovereignty” is an organising principle so demonstrably strong, it has the potential to transform economic power. Can we really invest in it as ecological principle to take us into the 21st century? In order to advance women’s rights and justice globally we need a new ecological principle that can operate at the micro and macro level and serve both the practical function of a livelihood and aspirational breadth of a “utopia”. When Francisca Rodriguez, Chilean feminist activist from international Via Campesina ↑’(Peasant Pathway) movement, responded to this call in the AWID ↑ plenary by arguing that “food sovereignty” should be instated as the guiding economic principle and a challenge for a new economic model, she was met with resounding applause and ululations. At once, an axis of rural life and a radical call for global transformation, women from across all continents, urban and rural, from the North and South, are looking to the transformative potential of this concept as an answer to the environmental ravages wrought by capitalism and a challenge to “mercantilisation of nature” instituted by the so-called “Green Economy”. Today’s workshop on ‘Economic Power and Development Alternatives’ provided an opportunity to critically examine the “emancipatory potential” of this call. Peasant, indigenous and feminist activists from all across Latin America reiterated that “food sovereignty” is an organising principle so demonstrably strong that it has the potential to transform economic power. Francisca Rodriguez defines “food sovereignty” as a democratic extension of “food security”, “the right of people to democratically decide on their own food and agricultural systems”, produce food on one’s own land in a way is environmentally sustainable. During the discussion, the transformative potential of the movement was explored in a rich debate: how can we tackle ingrained patriarchy in indigenous culture and combat racism towards indigenous women, asked Diana from Ecuador; how can we strengthen alliances between the urban feminist movement and the peasant movement and ensure an equitable division of labour, asked a participant from Nicaragua. Such division of labour is not always easy. In a morning workshop on ‘Social Economy and Economic Justice’, Brisna Caxaj Alvarez described how a “mixed” project to economically empower women in the region of Puerto Barrios in Guatemala through the production of soya milk was undermined by a failure to work together as equals: “the fact that they are women does not mean that the project will be transformative”, she reminded us, “we all have our own internalised biases, this is a key step that we must overcome” (…..)

Link: http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/jenny-allsopp/food-sovereignty-as-transformative-model-of-economic-power

Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

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