A Women’s Human Rights Agenda for the G8: Food Sovereignty

On May 18, leaders of the world’s eight largest economies (the G8) will gather at Camp David, a walled-off retreat reserved for the US President and his guests. There, they will make decisions that will affect all of us, no matter where we live.

But women’s human rights advocates refuse to be ignored. We are putting forward our own G8 agenda. We need your input to craft it.

Every day, we’ll be addressing the priorities that should be on the G8 agenda. We’re asking you to submit your comments, concerns and suggestions. Together, we can craft an agenda that voices the demands of women’s human rights advocates around the world.

Today, we’re looking at Food Sovereignty:

This Is the Reality:

Food Price Crises: The neoliberal embrace of deregulated markets has allowed financial traders to speculate in food staples, causing prices to shoot up. Waves of food crises have gripped communities worldwide, as basic foods are priced out of reach.

Unfair Trade Policies: Massive subsidies by G8 nations have protected corporate agribusiness while destroying the livelihoods of farmers in the Global South by flooding local markets. What’s more, countries have been pressured to produce agricultural commodities for export, not food for eating.

Industrial Agriculture: Small-scale farmers have been hurt by G8 policies that prioritize monoculture and industrial farming. This has destroyed biodiversity, worsened climate change and increased the use of polluting fertilizers and pesticides.

This Is Our Vision. Women Demand G8 Policies That:

Invest in small-scale, sustainable agriculture. The G8 has already committed to provide $20 billion for this through its L’Aquila food security initiative—but it has only raised $1.1 billion.

Empower women farmers, who feed local communities using sustainable methods that must be supported by governments.

Work towards not just food security, but food sovereignty. People have the right to healthy food raised sustainably and to decide how their food is produced.

Protect food as more than a mere commodity. It is a human right that must be guaranteed.

Add your voice here.

Photo credit: Helen Marden

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