This March, peasant and indigenous women in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas organized scores of solidarity actions, events, demonstrations, and other processes in their territories to mark the International Working Women's Day (#8M23).
These solidarity actions in March reaffirmed the Peasant and Popular Feminism Movement as anti-systemic and a struggle against the hetero-patriarchal, racist, and colonialist system that imposes various forms of oppression on people and communities. Over the 30 years of La Via Campesina’s existence, we have come to understand that it is only possible to dismantle this capitalist model if we simultaneously succeed in overcoming these oppressive relationships.
A Call for Mobilization that La Via Campesina issued in February 2023 echoed this sentiment:
"On this day of action and unity, we face the challenge of taking a stronger stance on global issues in the face of the prevailing model and the urgent need for a new society with new relationships, alternative ways of sharing work, and the creation of new values based on independence and reciprocity.
As women members of La Via Campesina, we struggle for the land because through Land Reform, peasant women are guaranteed the legal right to land. On this land, we produce food to feed our families and societies, secure our income, reduce violence, and combat machismo.…
....The patriarchal and racist dimensions of capitalism that oppress society, particularly women, children, and individuals who do not conform to binary gender identities. In the current crisis of war and inequality, it is urgent to reaffirm our values of solidarity and internationalism, demand greater democracy and participation for communities, and continue to fight against all types of violence. Collective organization is essential to resist, to continue producing healthy food, and to reinforce Food Sovereignty as a way of life in our communities."
La Via Campesina also exhorted peasant and indigenous women to regroup in all regions, to debate and discuss their local, regional, and global context and bring their concrete proposals to the 8th International Conference of La Via Campesina (#8ConfLVC) expected to take place in Nicaragua in November 2023.
"By rebelling, we sow popular peasant feminism, build food sovereignty and organize against crises and violence."
This slogan became the rallying call for all the joint actions in March.
La Via Campesina's call for solidarity actions resonated widely. Members across continents responded. Of particular note was the First International Peasant Women's School in Mozambique.
FIRST INTERNATIONAL PEASANT WOMEN'S SCHOOL OF LA VIA CAMPESINA
The Women's Articulation of La Via Campesina - the collective of peasant and indigenous leaders who articulate and direct the movement's feminist expressions and actions - organized the First International Peasant Women's School in Maputo, Mozambique.
Seventy participants from 39 countries, representing the 10 regions where LVC is organized, attended the school, organized study sessions, and also took part in solidarity actions.
Over the course of 10 days at the school, hosted by LVC's local member UNAC, the participants delved deeper into discussions about land access, peasant seed systems, agroecology, and peasant markets.
As explained in the subsequent video, it became a space for study and mistica and a moment to put on display the force of internationalism.
In Honduras, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Argentina, and elsewhere in Latin America, several street actions took place, with women marching in large numbers voicing their demands for an equal society.
ACTIONS IN ASIA AND AFRICA
In the Basque Country, the women from EHNE Bizkaia, LVC member in the region, released a video that resonate their resolve to fight against the oppressive systems of patriarchy.
The Diversity in Our Rebellions!
The poster released by La Via Campesina to mark #8M23 was omnipresent in most of the mobilizations around the world.
The poster, the visual identity of peasant unity in March, was translated and adapted into several languages, including Korean, Bahasa, Portuguese, Italian, Sinhala, Bangla, Kannada, Hindi, Arabic, Turkish, and more.
Different adaptations of the poster and other materials released in March by LVC and its members were used to visibilize the street demonstrations and other events.
Several videos and podcasts were also published by LVC members and allies in March, revealing several aspects of the peasant feminist struggles – such as the rural autonomy of peasant women, dialogues on gender diversity, land access, seed fairs and workshops, agroecology seminars, and more.