The National Federation of Peasant Women (Amihan) will join the Women’s Global Strike campaign on March 8, 2020 to advance the call of peasant women in the Philippines for “Land, Food and Justice!” as initiated by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Land and Development (APWLD), a leading network of feminist organizations and grassroots activists in Asia Pacific.
According to United Nations, The right to food, and its non-variations, is a human right protecting the right for people to feed themselves in dignity, implying that sufficient food is available, that people have the means to access it, and that it adequately meets” the individual’s dietary needs. The right to food protects the right of all human beings to be free from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.
The Philippines is an agricultural country but the food security and self-sufficiency is at risk. It is worsened by the combined effects of man-made and natural disasters including typhoons, earthquakes, and others. One of the major causes is the century-old problem of landlessness, land grabbing and displacement and land use conversions that triggers the widespread hunger and poverty among Filipino people. Under the neoliberal policies of the Philippine government, food deficit or food on the table of poor producers and consumers has long been deprived and constantly unavailable.
Last February 14, 2019, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte enacted Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Liberalization Law that resulted to low farmgate prices of palay and high prices of rice affecting poor farmers, peasant women and consumers in the country. The Duterte government has surrendered its regulatory power to the private traders to gain profits and rely on the attainment of food security of the country through the influx of importation rice.
Also, the Philippines as one of the most disaster-prone countries have caused damages and losses to agricultural sector such as crops, livelihoods and others that left the Filipino farmers and peasant women without food and unavailability of natural food sources.
The Rural Women on Advancing the Food on the Table Agenda will be a venue of peasant women and its organizations to share their situations as producers and consumers, and unite for the facilitation and monitoring of food available in the markets such as prices of agricultural products, price manipulation, food emergencies during calamities, el niño, la niña and others. The said task will be spearheaded by peasant women organizations from barangay levels. The information gathered will be used in campaign and advocacy work, for lobbying work in LGUs and policy formulation.
“Food on the Table Agenda” forum with students and professors of University of the Philippines -Diliman last January 21, 2020.
“Food on the Table Agenda” forum with members of urban poor group KADAMAY during their camp-out for livelihood and decent housing in front of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) last February 5, 2020.
Rural women advocates, feminists, artists, writers, zinesters and others join the campaign for Women’s Global Strike during the discussion and letter patching vs. RA 11203 Rice Liberalization Law last February 8 in Quezon City.
Amihan and Bantay Bigas held a “Rise for Rice! Junk Rice Liberalization” press conference last February 10 in Quezon City and urged the public to join the strike on March 8 International Women’s Day.
Women and students join the campaign of Women’s Global Strike to demand land, food and justice at the UP Fair last February 12- 13, 2020.
Amihan and Bantay Bigas spearheaded the “Rise for Rice! Junk Rice Liberalization! protest last February 14, coinciding with the first year enactment of RA 11203, in front of the Department of Agriculture, Quezon City.
Peasant women under Amihan in Cavite province attended the “Food on the Table Agenda” Forum last February 16 at Barangay Tartaria, Silang town. This coming March 8 International Women’s Day, they will join the Women’s Global Strike in National Capital Region.