Rural Women’s Day: The Demands of Dominican Campesinas

The peasant worker movement of the Dominican Republic is calling for more attention to meet the demands of rural women on International Day of Rural Women.

The National Confederation of Peasant Women (CONAMUCA), National Peasant Articulation, Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations and Via Campesina-CLOC/Via Campesina Caribe are demand greater investment in the countryside and guarantees to land and credit without gender discrimination, among other demands.

Despite economic growth indicators presented by ECLAC, the Dominican Republic is one of the countries with the lowest distribution of wealth, a problem exacerbated with the arrival of Covid-19, where the most affected have been migrant, campesina and black women. They say the lack of protection and “institutionalized vulnerability” for these groups is palpable and are manifested in the economic and social inequality of the rural areas despite that the country and its economy has been re-opening.

The organizations highlight the historical gender gap in the ownership of resources, especially land, access to credit, and technical assistance for women who own nearly none of the land yet are tasked with ensuring food for communities in conditions of political, economic and social inequality.

According to an FAO report, it is estimated that if rural women (43% of the agricultural labor force) had the same access as men to agricultural resources, production in the agricultural sector could be increased, which would result in the reduction in world hunger. 

The equal participation of rural women is a necessity to eradicate hunger, inequality, and the reduction of the country’s poverty rates. Meanwhile, there persists a need for shelters and specialized services to attend to violence, as well as resources for prevention campaigns, as the figures for gender violence have increased.

Campesina organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean will also be marking International Day of Food Sovereignty on October 16th, and reiterating the demand for Food Sovereignty, as a right of peasants to produce and consume food using agroecological methods. The date calls on rural worker movements to further integrate the political demands of peasant struggles around the world. 

The following demands have been communicated in a statement published by CLOC-La Via Campesina:

Greater investment in the countryside that guarantees access to land and credit without gender discrimination; Implementation of the national plan for family agriculture elaborated as a political proposal of the peasantry of the Dominican Republic; Equal participation in agricultural, livestock and agroforestry programs currently implemented by the government.

“We oppose mining exploitation in the country because of the negative impact on our natural resources. We join the struggles of the provinces of Barahona and Monte Plata that today have protest camps against the mining and sugar cane consortiums installed in the country with the consent of the government of the day.”

“Rural women say food sovereignty now!” concludes the statement.