July 1, 2008–New York, NY–Next Monday, as the G8 gathering of the world's wealthiest countries begins, devising solutions to the food crisis raging across the planet will be high on the agenda. Today, MADRE and four of its sister organizations submitted an open letter to the G8, demanding that it uphold the right to food. The women's letter details the action needed to address this crisis and illustrates the central role that women must play in ensuring food security.
This year, the G8 agenda includes discussions on the world economy, climate change and development. In the letter, MADRE and its partners show how proposed solutions to these challenges–such as tariff reductions and biofuel plantations–have contributed to the rising rates of hunger and malnutrition, while claiming to combat these problems.
Vivian Stromberg, Executive Director of MADRE, said today, "We know that the world has the capacity to produce all the food we need. But economic policies put forward by the G8 nations have acted to keep basic necessities out of the reach of millions. As the G8 meets to make decisions that will impact people across the planet, we must demand dramatic changes in policy to promote a more just global economic system."
MADRE emphasizes that the inaccessibility of food is the result of failed economic policies and not any absolute shortage of food. Furthermore, the letter cites recent reports indicating that agricultural policy must move towards small-scale and organic agriculture, a viable solution that would better provide food for the global population. A key recommendation of the letter calls for a particular focus on women in this effort, who make up the majority of the world's small-scale farmers.
For more information on MADRE's analysis of women's human rights and the current food crisis, click here: /index.php?s=4&news=33.
Signatories to the Women's Declaration to the G8:
Vivian Stromberg, MADRE (USA): Leads MADRE in the organization's partnerships with community-based women's organizations towards the shared goal of promoting women's human rights.
Rose Cunningham, Wangki Tangni Women's Center (Nicaragua): Directs an Indigenous women's initiative for small-scale organic farms.
Adriana Gonzalez, LIMPAL (Colombia): Promotes peaceful alternatives to conflict and supports income-generating projects for women.
Sandra Gonzalez Maldonado, Comit� de Trabajadoras de la Maquila B�rcenas; Women Workers' Committee (Guatemala): Provides training on labor rights for women working in maquilas (sweatshops).
Anne Sosin, KOFAVIV - Komisyon Fanm Viktim pou Viktim; The Commission of Women Victims for Victims (Haiti): Works with rape survivors to create long-term solutions to promote their health and well-being.