Representatives of seven organizations that make up the Feminist Land Platform (FLP) participated in the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), promoted by the United Nations in New York (USA). With the support of the Ford Foundation and in partnership with Oxfam International, they enjoyed an intense week full of exchanges.
One of the highlights of FLP’s participation in the event was the round table discussion entitled “The importance of expanding women’s land rights to guarantee environmental sustainability and dignified living conditions”, hosted by the Platform on March 7.
31 women representing feminist organizations from Latin America, North Africa, Africa, Europe, and the United States attended this in-person event with online transmission and simultaneous translation in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.
One of the results of the meeting was an updated version of the Call to Action drafted by FLP in Utrecht in 2019. The declaration, which calls for a joint effort in advocating for gender justice and women’s land rights, was presented at an event hosted by Oxfam on 10 March.
The leaders of FLP´s member organizations present at the event were very pleased with the experience, especially as it promoted the opportunity of meeting in person after the years of social distancing imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Being able to be together and exchange face-to-face was extraordinary and strengthened our friendship. We now know each other much better”, says Amina Amharech, from the organization Azul (Morocco). She pointed out that the occasion also allowed FLP to disseminate its work and establish new connections.
“Another important point was the chance to reinforce our partnership with the Ford Foundation and Oxfam. Representatives of both organizations were present, and we had an excellent synergy. I hope to be able to experience other encounters like this in the future,” she concluded.
Patrícia Chaves, from Espaço Feminista (Brazil), added that it was very important to participate in some CSW side events about the importance of the digital inclusion of women and young people: “We are already working on this in our territories. Thus, our participation was a confirmation of the relevance of our work on digital inclusion”.
Regarding the roundtable, she highlighted how rewarding it was to host an inclusive event, providing translation and online participation: “It was a challenge, but we were very happy about it, because all FLP representatives had the chance to speak and present their ideas. The event promoted a very rich discussion, that was also useful for us to carry out our planning as a Platform. And after the roundtable we were approached by women who are interested in becoming part of the FLP, which is wonderful”.
Elsa Maria Arroyo, from Mudeci (Mexico), was grateful for the opportunity to bring the voices of grassroots women to an international event organized by the UN: “This allows us, women who live in the territories, to be part of the establishment of global norms and policies that promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and children”, she pointed out.
In the same line, Marta Esber, from Fundación Plurales (Argentina), emphasized that participation in global events such as CSW allows FLP to know which topics are on the agenda of multilateral organizations, governments, and civil society and whether the issues discussed are effectively linked to the interests and the most urgent needs of women, girls and gender dissident people, especially those from the most vulnerable and precarious sectors.
In addition, Marta was pleased to be able to meet other feminist organizations that work for the rights of indigenous, peasants, Afro-descendants, and marginalized urban women and listen to their perspectives.
“We could see the coincidences regarding the severity of the global crisis that is affecting the quality of life of women, girls and gender dissident people across the Global South”, she commented, celebrating the opportunity to strengthen actions targeted to women’s rights and the promotion of common agendas”.
“We also took advantage of the occasion to give visibility to the situation of our sister Kamira Nait Sid, from Algeria, an Amazigh human rights defender who is unjustly detained. Also, the suffering that women and children are experiencing in refugee camps in the Sahel region”, said Saoudata Aboubakrine, from the organization Tin Hinane (Mali).
Mozambican Nzira Razão de Deus, from Fórum Mulher, spoke about the opportunity to interact with government representatives from Mozambique and other countries, presenting them with the concerns of small rural producers who face difficulties as a result of large market investments that have negatively impacted their lives.
“In addition, it was great to exchange experiences with colleagues from other countries, to hear about their struggles and achievements and to think together about our strategies to face the difficult context we are all experiencing”, she added.
Clara Merino, from Luna Creciente (Ecuador), echoed her colleague, noting the importance of these exchanges among women from South America, Africa, and Asia on the advocacy for women’s rights amid the political and economic crises experienced in their countries.
“It was also important to voice our positions clearly in the defence of democracy and environmental and human rights defenders, as well as the Escazú Agreement”, concluded Clara.