Local Farmers Rule the World

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Women seen key to solving hunger issues in africa


The knowledge of the silent workers cannot be found in a science textbook. Indigenous knowledge is formed and constructed primarily by the hands of women workers in third world countries. This article explores this idea further of how women in Sub-Saharan Africa are needed more than ever to truly make a difference in the hunger crisis. This acknowledges that reform needs to come from the roots upward, versus from the top down model of power. As Shiva says, "Diversity is the principle of women's work and knowledge. It is the reason that women's knowledge and work have been discounted in the patriarchal calculus."

It is well documented that within rural areas of the world, responsibility falls upon women to produce the food for the local benefit. If it is food that ultimately controls the world's livelihood, then what does it mean when a top-down model of power comes in to restructure the production processes to fit a globalized standard, not a localized one? The answer is that the responsibility and strain falls principally on women. However, as the work done by women is almost invisible (being that women are not allowed to own land, and work is done in the name of the household owner) how can such strains be accounted for?

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As Shiva argues, corporatized agriculture erases women's cultural & material knowledge as less rational, less objective, & therefore less valuable. Capital takes advantage of those subjects who are considered less skilled in labor in order to maximize profit for the elite few. We must therefore be careful when advocating for women's deeper involvement in agricultural projects, for the rhetoric of inclusion can often serve the interests of deeper capitalist exploitation of women rather than allowing for their actual agency in determining & shaping the conditions of production. Hence, according to Shiva, we must re-imagine the production of food as an endeavor which recognizes & centers a non-dominant relationship with all life & natural resources. Only this way- in conjunction with changes in social organization toward the destruction of class society- can the exploitative burden of food production upon women & feminized subjects shift.

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This page contains a single entry by klue0050 published on October 27, 2011 5:36 PM.

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