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New Resource for Media Launched on World Food Day

Posted on: Thursday, October 16, 2008

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Food Sovereignty

October 16, 2008—New York, NY—Today, MADRE joins with its sister organizations to recognize World Food Day and to decry the rising numbers of people suffering from hunger.  As the food crisis continues to rage across the globe, it has only been compounded by the current financial crisis.  By the end of 2008, the number of malnourished people is set to reach one billion.

However, the food crisis is not an issue of shortage but of inequitable distribution.  Even as global crop yields are projected to reach record levels, rising prices place basic necessities out of the reach of millions.

Vivian Stromberg, MADRE Executive Director, said today, “On World Food Day, we must emphasize that the right to food has been fatally undermined.  The first step towards a solution is to recognize the central role of women in agriculture, as they make up more than half of that labor force.  The next step is to listen to their solutions.  One concrete solution is underway in Sudan, where a MADRE partner Fatima Ahmed is creating a women farmers’ union.  Another solution can be found in Nicaragua, where MADRE partner Rose Cunningham is coordinating a network of women-run organic farms.”

Today, MADRE also announced the launch of a new initiative, the International Network of Women's Human Rights Experts.  Through this Network, MADRE connects journalists with women activists and human rights experts working at local, national, and international levels.  Two such experts are available today and listed below.  Membership includes women who span every region of the world and who share a commitment to defending women's human rights.  More information can be found here:

Available for interviews:

Rose Cunningham is a Miskita Indigenous leader from Nicaragua and an expert in popular education, international labor law, and the rights of migrants, refugees, and displaced persons.  She is the Founder and Director of Wangki Tangni (“Flower of the River” in the Indigenous Miskitu language).  Through Wangki Tangni, she has worked to serve more than 104 poor and marginalized communities along the Coco River by developing programs that promote self sufficiency, sustainable agriculture and assisting Indigenous Peoples to develop the skills they need for self-government, protection of their region’s biodiversity, and preservation of their traditional cultures. (Languages: English, Spanish)

Fatima Ahmed is a community leader from Sudan. She is a Ph.D candidate from the University of Gezira, Sudan and holds a Masters Degree in plant physiology. Her research background led her to focus on women farmers, and she has worked to organize the first women farmers’ union in Sudan. In 2000, she founded Zenab for Women in Development in order to promote peace-building, women's rights, women's reproductive health and girl's education. (Languages: English, Arabic)

To request an interview with a member of MADRE’s International Network of Women’s Human Rights Experts, contact MADRE Media Coordinator Diana Duarte at 212-627-0444.

For more information about MADRE, click here:

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