Agroecology and Food Sovereignty
The search for alternative means of food production based on environmental sustainability is gaining ground across regions. This worldwide search comes with a common characteristic: the need to involve rural people and particularly women, building on their local priorities and knowledge by employing the principle of agroecology.
Agroecology is a way of practicing agriculture or using technologies that do not harm the environment. It proposes breaking with the hegemonic rural development model based on large landed estates and single-crop plantations that benefit mostly agricultural businesses and entrenches social exclusion.
In family farming, agroecology manifests as a resistance to the current development model and its social, cultural, environmental, and economic problems. It opposes the lack of the farmer’s financial capital autonomy; and it symbolizes a resistance to the current agribusiness model.
Efforts based solely on agroecology may not be sufficient to solve all problems of women’s marginalization and invisibility. A feminist perspective is then crucial to analyze the norms associated with the idea of family as currently constituted as the perfect institution, as well as with the condition of women’s subordination.
In simpler terms, it is important to include in this debate a reflection on socially constructed gender roles to advance the emancipatory potential of agroecology.
Learn more about this proposition
- Agroecology: Exploring opportunities for women’s empowerment based on experiences from Brazil (2011) by AWID and ActionAid
- Sowers of struggles and hope for feminism and food sovereignty by La Via Campesina captures the exchanges of the 4th Women’s Assembly that discussed the capitalism crisis and the challenges in constructing a peasant and working class feminism.