The best resilience practices of Ubinig (Bangladesh)

Nayakrishi agroecological practices and seed wealth preservation” is an inspiring practice developed in Bangladesh by UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative), one of the members of the Feminist Land Platform (FLP).

UBINIG runs a farmers’ movement called Nayakrishi Andolon, a new agricultural movement that practices biodiversity-based farming and has more than 300,000 farming families as members all over Bangladesh.

The organization works at the grassroots level, solving challenges of livelihood and community existence in an increasingly globalized and intensely competitive economy, and at the policy level, by advocating for better solutions to challenges that affect the lives of the majority, especially marginalized people.

FLP recently mapped some of our members’ best resilience practices so that other communities and organizations can learn and adapt tools and strategies to their local realities. In this article, we’ll discuss one of the inspiring practices developed in Bangladesh by UBINIG. This is part of a series of articles detailing the best practices of each FLP organization. Check out our blog to read about all of them!

Nayakrishi agroecological practices and seed wealth preservation

This report is based on practices that take place in five districts of Bangladesh: Tangail (flood plain zone), Pabna, Natore & Kushtia (drought-prone zones), and Cox’sbazar (coastal area). It benefits over 80,000 farmers, among which 47,000 are women.

Nayakrishi Andolon is a biodiversity-based farmers’ movement created in 1992 and led by women. Their practice follows 10 principles, including no use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or groundwater extraction. They advocate for using local variety seeds and for collecting, regenerating, and exchanging seeds among farmers.

So far, the movement has collected more than 2,700 varieties of rice and 1,000 varieties of other crops, including vegetables, oil, spices, fruits, etc. It also keeps seeds for climate change-related crises such as floods, droughts, and cyclones.

Seeds are kept at the Community Seed Wealth Center (CSW), created in 1998 as an institutional system for the Nayakrishi Seed Network (NSN). “The main CSWs are located at the UBINIG centers in Tangail and Pabna. Seed Huts at the village level are also part of the CSW. Farmers deposit seeds and take seeds from the CSWs”, explains Farida Akhter, UBINIG’s executive director.

The communities involved mostly comprise small-scale farmers with less than a hectare of land each. Through this practice, they receive regular training on seed preservation and agroecological methods.

Those who do not own land raise goats and cows and work with the farmers. They share the cow dung and milk with the landowning families and get straw and other fodder in exchange.

Through this project, common land is preserved and kept free from harmful chemicals, so the poor and landless women can have access to edible plants and to the grazing of the livestock.

Community relationships are also based on seed exchange and sharing, which helps increase crop diversity. In times of natural disasters, the farmers share the seeds with those who have lost their crops and seeds.

For the development of this practice, UBINIG partners with the Department of Agricultural Extension, the gene banks of the government of Bangladesh, and women’s groups from all the 64 districts of the country, that make up the Women and Biodiversity Network. These groups work with farmers in their respective areas and take the seeds they need from the CSW.

Main results and challenges

The farmers started with less than a hectare, but many of them could enlarge their land over the years. It was also found that women felt the need to buy land in their names with their savings from raising cows and goats.

An important result from these agricultural practices was that many female-headed households (divorced and young widows) could buy land or take land on lease for cultivation and become food self-sufficient, since the agroecological methods do not require money for buying chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides.

“More farmers are joining this movement, and women farmers are holding meetings on seeds and exchanging their knowledge with different groups. In February 2024, they hosted a visit of Sri Lanka and Myanmar farmers”, Akhter adds.

She also points out that Nayakrishi women farmers have become more conscious of their land rights and have been discussing it more often. “They are also talking about rivers, which help grow special local varieties. However, with the pollution of the rivers, such possibilities are disappearing”, she warns.

This practice is linked to the broader movement of food and seed sovereignty, and Akhter stresses that they face many challenges due to the corporate aggression with laboratory seeds, including GMOs, and to the fact that there is no government support for small-scale farmers.

“The Seed Law of the country is made for the seed breeding companies; thus, farmers’ rights are violated. So, the movement is significant for the communities”, Akhter concludes.

The best resilience practices of MUDECI (Mexico)

Sowers of Hope: Urban Gardens for Food Security and Community Resilience” is one of the best resilience practices developed by the organization Mujeres, Democracia y Ciudadanía A.C. (MUDECI), one of the members of the Feminist Land Platform (FLP).

MUDECI is a Mexican non-profit civil association created in 2013 by grassroots women with extensive experience in territorial work and activism. Its mission is to secure public recognition for the leadership of organized grassroots women’s groups as agents of change and to position local women-led organizations as driving forces in public agenda-setting and political accountability.

FLP recently mapped some of the best resilience practices of our members so that other communities and organizations can learn and adapt tools and strategies to their local realities. In this article we’ll talk about one of the inspiring practices developed in Mexico by MUDECI. This is part of a series of articles detailing the best practices of each FLP organization. Check out our blog to read about all of them!

Urban agriculture training center

Ecatepec, located on the outskirts of Mexico City, is mostly an urban municipality shaped by the internal migration.. In the 60s and 70s, it was heavily occupied by rural communities who sought better living conditions. The original inhabitants were dedicated to the cultivation of rice, and the tradition of cultivating in backyard orchards remains.

MUDECI has been developing, an urban agriculture training center aiming to local people in Ecatepec to cultivate backyard gardens for self-consumption since May 2022.

The backyard urban gardens were seen as an opportunity to reduce food insecurity in which many people found themselves, especially those who lost their livelihoods during the COVID 19 pandemic. ,This provided  access to organic food and also sell or share the surplus of their production with their neighbors.

The development and maintenance of urban gardens responds to several contemporary needs, such as community strengthening, landscape improvement, urban habitability, leisure, environmental education, use of rainwater, and appropriation of public spaces.

It also comes from the understanding that the right to land is key to preserving the various local food systems, consumption is less commodified and traditional food knowledge and practices are valued.

This project is the result of the exchange of experiences among grassroots women from Mexico and Nicaragua and fellow grassroots women from Toluca, Tejupilco, State of Mexico and Jojutla.

The transformative power of urban gardens

“Our initiative has contributed to strengthening urban agriculture as a viable alternative for food production in small spaces”, says Elsa María Arroyo Hernández, MUDECI’s general coordinator.

MUDECI has been achieving a positive impact on the community through its different initiatives, such as the backyard garden project, a community kitchen, the Paulo Freire School Garden, and the selling of local products.

According to Hernández, these initiatives have contributed to improving food security, empowering women, strengthening local economy, and promoting urban agriculture and agroecology. Women have assumed leadership roles in the planning and implementation of climate resilience initiatives.

During this process, communities have diversified the crops they grow to reduce dependence on climate-sensitive crops. Agroecological practices such as rainwater capture, the use of organic fertilizers and the planting of cover crops have been implemented to improve the soil  and climate resistance. Finally, efficient irrigation systems have been developed to optimize water use and to reduce vulnerability to drought in their hydroponic garden and green roof.

Hernández points out that the participation of grassroots women in the planning, implementation and evaluation of projects has been very importantas  they contributed with ancestral knowledge passed on from generation to generation.

“This has always been an agricultural community and there is a lot of knowledge about the land, which was enriched by the contribution of an agronomist engineer who supported us.  It is important to highlight the joy with which the activities such as preparing the land, planting, and distributing the harvest are carried out. That in turn strengthened community work  and common good”, she adds.

Some of the results obtained so far:

  • 100 boys and girls, 120 women and 12 men were trained in agroecological practices, rabbit farming and free-range chickens.
  • The project was selected by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) as a case study.
  • They doubled the goal of serving 1,500 low-cost meals in their community kitchen.

As partners for this practice, MUDECI counts on the Center for Economic, Social and Technological Research in Agribusiness and World Agriculture (CIESTAAM) of the Autonomous University of Chapingo, the Central Campesina Cardenista, and the Network of Women Farmers, Producers and Artisans of Mexico.

The best resilience practices of Azul (Morocco)

Application to collect cases of spoliation” is a practice developed by Meriem Bentarjem and Dr. Soraya El Kahlaoui, co-founder of the Traab project platform, in partnership with the organization Azul (Morocco), one of the members of the Feminist Land Platform (FLP).

AZUL works towards giving back to the Amazigh (indigenous peoples of Morocco and North Africa) their status as full citizens, as opposed to their present lack of decision-making power or sovereignty over their tangible or intangible heritage.

Its mission is to sensitize and mobilize the population to better face the problems related to land, natural resources, socio-economic inequalities, and the destruction of ecosystem and their consequences on the individual and the community.

FLP recently mapped some of the best resilience practices of our members so that other communities and organizations can learn and adapt tools and strategies to their local realities. In this article we’ll talk about one of the inspiring practices developed in Morocco by AZUL.

This is part of a series of articles detailing the best practices of each FLP organization. Check out our blog to read about all of them!

Application to collect cases of spoliation

This practice started in April 2022 and is being developed in all the Moroccan territory and some regions of Tunisia where there are problems of spoliation and expropriations.

It will benefit Amazigh/Indigenous Peoples throughout Morocco and all victim communities of land expropriation. Women represent a considerable part of the rights holders of collective lands, referred to as Soulaliyates.

The region of Morocco and North Africa was mostly colonized by France, which has implemented laws that states continue to apply to dispossess indigenous peoples of their lands, territories, and natural resources.

For centuries, the Amazigh have developed several practices essentially related to land (agriculture), territories (livestock and transhumance), and natural resources, since the activities depend essentially on the specificities and availability of resources and in a concern for adaptation and protection of ecosystems and biodiversity.

The space emplacement of the Amazigh conditions their way of life, their culture and gives them their ancestral identity. Dispossessing the Amazigh of their land amounts to tearing them away from their territory and forcing them to migrate elsewhere, just as confiscating their rights to their resources keeps them in precariousness without the possibilities for improvements. This puts them in vulnerable conditions and makes them easily assimilated.

Indigenous communities in rural areas are particularly targeted by the privatization of land and its resources. Similarly, marginalized urban communities living in slums and peri-urban lands are also subject to eviction procedures.

“The proliferation of fraudulent acts and illegal activities is such that there is what is commonly referred to as a ‘Land Mafia’ rampant in all regions of Morocco aimed at monopolizing land to the detriment of the rightful owners. This plundering finds fertile ground in legislation, impunity, power games, the fragility of communities, the inefficiency of the courts, the connivance of magistrates, and agricultural policy, all of which mean that law and justice no longer have a place, especially in matters of land, either for communities or for women, the last link in a weakened chain”, explains Amina Amharech, a founding member of AZUL.

According to her, the main difficulty today lies in the absence of a database that could list all cases of actual dispossession to establish an exhaustive mapping of the extent of the problem – which is why this practice came into play. 

How the project works

This project has the goal of collecting information on land conflicts to identify the communities impacted, drawing a comprehensive mapping of the issue, and raising the voices of dispossessed communities.

Through the practice of “counter-mapping”, it aims to map land conflicts in North Africa, and mainly in Morocco and Tunisia, creating an open-source web platform combining interactive mapping and storytelling. The project is also based on the development of an application to offer an open-source data collection tool.

It has two components:

  • Mapping land conflicts: It is expected that about 50 communities will benefit from a visibility of their claims via the web platform.
  • The app: Members of the Amazigh AZUL community network will be trained to use the app to collect data on land conflicts.

It should be noted that particular attention will be paid to the issue of women, who are the most impacted social group in any process of discrimination and marginalization, and particularly in terms of access to property and land.

Women rarely receive compensation in the event of land transfer, often find themselves without an offer of rehousing, and are excluded from the negotiations. The project will ensure that the issue of gender equity is represented in the mapping of land conflicts and will focus on the gender approach to build alternatives.

Thanks to the application, a reliable database and accurate mapping, women’s voices will be more audible and the impact of the denial of their rights will be more visible. This is an essential step to change the laws and effectively support the demands of women at different levels, thus also benefiting the entire FLP network.

It is also important to notice that the results of this project will strengthen other good practice of Azul such as advocacy at the international level for the recognition of the rights of Amazighs as indigenous people and a call for an overhaul of land laws.

The opportunity of developing a second phase of this project will allow AZUL to test and train communities in the data collection application. To this end, training workshops will be organized with different communities. Particular attention will be given to the training of women researchers.

Azul collaborates with Dr. Soraya El Kahlaoui (Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow), main investigator of the Traab project and its project partners, including Ghent University.

To further understand the issues faced by Amazigh people, read this article by Amina Amharech on IWGIA’s website.

The best resilience practices of Espaço Feminista (Brazil)

“Land regularization as a guarantee of women’s land rights” is one of the best resilience practices developed by the organization Espaço Feminista do Nordeste para a Democracia e Direitos Humanos (Brazil), one of the members of the Feminist Land Platform (FLP).

Founded in 2008, Espaço Feminista works in areas such as:

  • Production of knowledge about the situation of women, carrying out various studies, research and publications.
  • Training processes aimed at valuing women as autonomous subjects (citizens) and encouraging their participation in public policy formulation and monitoring spaces.
  • National and international articulation and advocacy.

FLP recently mapped some of the best resilience practices of our members so that other communities and organizations can learn and adapt tools and strategies to their local realities. In this article we’ll talk about one of the inspiring practices developed in Brazil by Espaço Feminista (EF).

This is part of a series of articles detailing the best practices of each FLP organization. Check out our blog to read the others!

Land regularization as a guarantee of women’s land rights

This practice is currently developed in the municipality of Bonito, in the state of Pernambuco (Brazil), in 15 informal settlements that were created by the municipal government but never regularized.

Through this work, Espaço Feminista aims to address the inequality of land and housing rights for women, low-income families and single mothers (or solo women families). Therefore, they look at land and housing rights from a women’s land rights perspective.

“We are addressing and analyzing all the perverse consequences that lack of land and housing rights cause in terms of insecurity and violence in women’s lives and livelihoods”, explains Patrícia Chaves, Espaço Feminista’s executive director.

EF works in partnership with the municipal government of Bonito, targeting to ensure security of land to an estimated 5,000 families in the 15 informal settlements. The work includes a socio-economic cadaster of all families living in the informal settlements, a topographic survey with identification of each property, a survey of the infrastructure of the settlements and individual interviews for data and document collection.

Espaço Feminista empowers the technical team of the “Minha Casa é Legal” program from Bonito’s City Hall on legal aspects, especially on how to ensure that priority is given to women. In addition, it writes the project that is later sent to the registry office. The action also has a local team that develops awareness workshops with residents, taking questions and guiding them to ensure preference at the time of titration.

So far, 4 of the 15 areas have been completed and the surveys are being made in 5 other areas.

This practice proves to be effective in ensuring autonomy, land security and housing for women and their families, especially those who suffer from greater vulnerability because they have a very limited knowledge about their rights or are in informal relationships with their partners. Many are the second wives and are vulnerable to the informal market of lot selling.

It also promotes the autonomy and empowerment of women at multiple levels, such as the autonomy in deciding on their residence, ensuring security for the next generations and the potential to generate financial autonomy with the security of the land in their name.

“This document is a blessing. I thought that my house would never have a document. And today I have it in my hand, thank God!”, said beneficiary Maria Madalena da Silva in the video below, made by Espaço Feminista:

“Our work is a way to overcome injustice that women face due to informality and its consequences, such as informal transactions without their knowledge or consent and also issues of patrimonial violence embedded in our patriarchal culture and very present in the lives of low-income women, living in complete informality”, adds Patrícia Chaves.

Some of the results obtained so far:

  • On March 11, 2021, the first area with 479 properties (land and the house) was registered and certificates were handled to the residents, of which 69% on the name of women, being in individual or joint titles.
  • On March 11, 2022, the second area was delivered, this time benefiting 150 families, of which 50% went to women as an individual registry and another 35% were joint titles – woman and man – but of these 69% had the name of the woman as the first holder.
  • The third area, called Frei Damião, was concluded and handled in November 2022, directly benefiting 741 families. More than 70% of the land titles had the women as the beneficiaries. In this area the number of single mothers was very high, and EF is developing an analysis of the results and is also building the conditions to do an impact assessment.
  • The fourth area, Ben-ti-vi, has been concluded. Land tiles will be handled to 280 families, most of whom are women.
  • The practice is structured, very well documented and disseminated and offers a series of possibilities for future evaluation on the direct impact on the lives of women and their families, especially women caregivers who in many cases care for grandchildren to allow their daughters to work. 

For more information about this practice, watch the video on Cadasta’s YouTube channel:

As partners for this practice, Espaço Feminista counts on the Municipal Government of Bonito; Attorney General of the Municipality of Bonito; Real Estate Registry Office of Bonito; and the Court of Justice of the State of Pernambuco. The work is supported by the WellSpring Philanthropic Fund, Landesa and Cadasta Foundation.

You might also like to read: Transforming our cities by addressing gender deficit in land titles in Brazil, published by Patrícia Chaves on Urbanet.

FLP promotes regional meeting in Latin America alongside the “Marcha das Margaridas”, in Brazil

The difference in languages and geographic origins is no barrier to creating bonds of affection and activism. Proof of this was the experience shared by the women of the Feminist Land Platform (FLP) during the regional meeting held in Brasília, capital of Brazil, between August 13th and 16th. In three special moments, these diverse women came together to strengthen each other, their organizations, and the Platform.

On the first two days, the regional meeting of FLP organizations from Latin America brought together 15 women from four countries: Espaço Feminista (Brazil), Luna Creciente (Ecuador), Fundación Plurales (Argentina) and Mudeci (Mexico). On the third day, they were joined by 25 women from the state of Pernambuco, in the Northeast of Brazil, who represent the different territories, communities and identities that make up Espaço Feminista.

All these processes culminated on the last day of the event, with the participation in the Marcha das Margaridas (March of the Daisies). One of the largest feminist mobilizations in Latin America, the march takes place every four years and brings together more than 100,000 women in Brasília.

Regional meeting of the Feminist Land Platform

At the regional meeting, promoted by the FLP thanks to the support of the Ford Foundation, the Platform’s member organizations from Latin America were represented not only by their leaders, but also by other women who make up the organizations and are leaders in their territories.

“This meeting was very important for us. We were able to discuss the actions carried out so far and plan what is most relevant for our organizations and the Platform in the coming years. This was done through a process of collective discussion, based on the experiences and needs of each organization”, stated Patrícia Chaves, from Espaço Feminista.

During the two-day meeting, they debated topics such as qualified political advocacy, feminist education, mobilization of resources, democratization of access to information and to knowledge production, communication through counter-hegemonic means and defense of nature, with a clear opposition to extractivisms and appreciation of the wisdom of traditional peoples.

“We reflected on the systematization of the work and experience of women community leaders and on the importance of sharing our practices with other women in our global network”, noted Elsa Maria Arroyo, from MUDECI.

In small groups and then together, they shared the main strategies adopted by their organizations and the gaps they encounter to go further in their missions. Based on this, they defined strategies to increase the Platform’s impact, thus reaching increasingly wider spaces based on their knowledge, voices, and perspectives.

Verónica Luna, from Fundación Plurales, considers that participation in spaces of exchange, learning and collective decision-making like this one has repercussions on the daily actions of organizations: “It helps each person and each organization grow in the exercise of citizenship. It’s also an exercise of democracy, which currently seems so fragile and must be taken care of.”

Meeting with women from Pernambuco

In a second moment, 25 women farmers, fishermen and quilombolas, coming from different parts of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, joined the women already present in Brasília. They experienced an exciting space of exchanges that helped give a broader dimension to their struggles, reinforcing the perspective that the problems they encounter in their territories are structural, and thus common to all in the Global South.

Patrícia Chaves highlighted that this was a very important moment not only for the Platform, but also for the women of Espaço Feminista, because it created a bond among them all. “A farmer from Pernambuco present at the meeting summarized this experience: she said that she was used to only seeing the reality of the municipality of Bonito, where she lives, and on that trip, she realized that she is not alone and that her struggle is the same of thousands of women, whether in Argentina, in Mexico, in Ecuador…”, said Patrícia.

Likewise, the participants from other countries were happy with the opportunity to learn about the work of women from Pernambuco, as reported by Elsa Maria Arroyo: “I was inspired by these women, like the ones who are part of quilombos, fight to obtain property titles and are a historical symbol of heroic resistance against slavery and oppression.”

Walking together in the Marcha das Margaridas

Finally, the two groups joined the more than 100 thousand women from the countryside, forests, waters, and urban areas who took to the streets of Brasília on August 16, demonstrating for the right to land and territories, for the end of violence against women, and for health and education.

One of the largest women’s actions in Latin America, the Marcha das Margaridas (March of the Daisies) pays homage to Margarida Alves, a union leader brutally murdered 40 years ago for defending the rights of rural workers. In its 7th edition, the demonstration had the motto “For the Reconstruction of Brazil and for Good Living”.

FLP women from other Latin countries marched alongside those from Pernambuco, making their bonds of solidarity even stronger. “Marching together with comrades from different spaces, organizations, and countries, but with the same ideal, was an honor and a privilege. Taking public space and making our voices heard is a practice that should be valued”, added Verónica Luna. “This experience brought a perspective of collective resistance and belonging. At that moment, we were all sisters”, defined Patrícia Chaves.

“Having participated in this mobilization as part of the international delegation, invited by the Feminist Land Platform, was a wonderful experience that shows that Margarita Alves did not die, she lives in the memory of the Brazilian people”, added Elsa Maria Arroyo.

Yenny Nazareno, from Luna Creciente, noted that women from five continents were present, “and we all shouted with one voice, regardless of language or race. We marched and said that we are not alone and that together we can transform the world.”

Zita Suárez, from the same organization, was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the event: “I was able to share positive energies with thousands of empowered and strengthened women, that nurtured us to continue our struggles”.

After these enriching days, the women of the Feminist Land Platform continue resisting, now even more strengthened, fighting for Good Living and experiencing day by day what they sang together in the streets of Brasília: “We will keep marching, alert and strong, we will go on, together”.

Saiba tudo sobre o encontro regional das organizações da América Latina da Plataforma Feminista pela Terra.

Tin Hinan participates in the 1st Feminist Festival in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso has been facing violence from terrorist groups since 2015, which causes many internal displacements, among other serious problems. Children and women are the most affected populations and often have their rights violated and suffer sexual and gender-based violence.

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) emphasizes the importance of addressing the needs of women and girls who are victims of violence, ensuring women’s participation in decision-making processes, especially in areas at risk or affected by conflict, in addition to empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality to achieve lasting peace. However, this does not happen in practice in Burkina Faso.

For this reason, the Pananetugri Initiative for the Wellbeing of Women (IPBF), in collaboration with the Collective of Feminists of Burkina Faso, organized last March the 1st edition of the Feminist Festival, with the theme “Feminism, Peace and Security”. Leaders of associations and researchers were invited to speak about the situation in the region.

Among them was Saoudata Aboubacrine, from the Tin Hinan association, a member organization of the Feminist Land Platform (FLP). Saoudata shared her experiences with her peers and urged decision-makers, both nationally and internationally, to apply the texts they adopt, such as the UN resolution cited above.

She also addressed girls and women, urging them to continue promoting spaces for sharing experiences, intergenerational exchanges, and discussions like this one. “(…) As long as women do not have a voice, nothing can change, and to have a voice, we need active movements, that are more than just a name”, she said.

Saoudata’s participation in this important event was the subject of an article published on the website Féminin Actu. Read the full text (in French) here.

The best resilience practices of Luna Creciente (Ecuador)

“Political training for women’s organizations in Ecuador” is one of the best resilience practices developed by the organization Movimiento Nacional de Mujeres Luna Creciente, from Ecuador, one of the members of the Feminist Land Platform (FLP).

The work of Luna Creciente has been extremely relevant for empowering women leaders on political knowledge, mechanisms, and tools to drive processes to conduct the local development based on their own culture and goals.

“Luna Creciente brings together more than 300 organizations of women from popular sectors, with a great diversity regarding age, nationality, and geographical location, encompassing all the regions of Ecuador”, says Clara Merino, the organization’s executive director.

FLP mapped some of the best resilience practices of our members so that other communities and organizations can learn and adapt tools and strategies to their local realities. This is part of a series of articles detailing the practices of each organization. Check out our blog to read the others!

Political training for women’s organizations in Ecuador

Working towards advocacy and incidence in the municipalities, this practice was designed by Luna Creciente to include activities that stimulate the exchange of knowledge, cultural values, and traditions between the various groups of women’s organizations involved in it.

About 4.500 women from 322 communities in 6 provinces of different parts of Ecuador (coast, mountains, and Amazonian region) have already been beneficiaries of this practice, that started in June 2001.

The activities performed by Luna Creciente include:

  • National and local schools of political and feminist training, integral health, women’s rights, and conjuncture analysis.
  • Comprehensive mapping of each province and/or communities led by grassroots women.
  • National Congresses once per year (when they had greater economic resources these were done up to 3 times per year and in different provinces).
  • Spaces for analysis of the SDGs, climate change and local, national, and international situation.
  • Small economic ventures and bartering.
  • Defense of women’s land rights together with men, especially young people, having already formed three groups for land defense and support for women’s organizations.

This was considered a best practice that serves as inspiration to other FLP members and women’s rights organizations in general because it has allowed the growth of the Luna Creciente movement and helped empower of women, increase the respect for their families and communities and promote greater awareness of the rights of women and impoverished communities.

The practice is developed fundamentally in indigenous communities (68% indigenous, 7% quilombolas and 25% mestizos) made up of organized women. The valorization and respect of the various cultures and traditions and their participation in a national movement has been fundamental to the process.

“Our Feminist Political Training School has been promoting, throughout all these years, the confluence, understanding and organized political work of women from different organizations who fight for land and territories, also contemplating our body as the first territory”, explains Clara Merino.

For developing the actions, Luna Creciente has counted on the partnership of theNational Coalition of Women of Ecuador and the Plurinational Platform of Women and Feminists, besides Indigenous Movement, Workers’ Movement, Alternative Media, and Other Feminist Organizations.

Among the results of the work, Luna Creciente pointed out the affirmation of proposals and enforceability of rights to local governments and in conjunction with other organizations to some spaces of the Government, National Assembly and State.

In the current political situation of Ecuador, extractivism, laws against women and impoverished peoples and different kinds of violence are increasing. Therefore, actions like these are extremely important in the fight for a just and equal society.

Call to action: Feminist Land Platform

On March 7, 2023, FLP convened a round table discussion alongside CSW67, organized in partnership with OXFAM International and sponsored by the Ford Foundation, entitled “Expanding Women´s Land Rights to Guarantee Environmental Sustainability and Dignified Living Conditions. Thirty women from Latin America, Northern Africa, Africa, the United States, and Europe, representing women’s and feminists organizations from diverse constituencies and plural voices and analysis, participated in the event in response to the need to expand the size and quality of strategies for resistance and change, through building a network involving organizations that are working on women’s land rights and the environment.

Responding to FLP´s call to form alliances to occupy strategic spaces at all levels by engaging feminist organizations and leaders in active participation and decision-making processes affecting the lives of women´s rights to land, we agree on:

  • Positioning ourselves as a non-partisan movement focused on a contra-hegemonic, decolonial and anti-oppression resistance to gender inequality relating to land & natural resources. Hence every action we take goes against structural racism and all its facets, manifested in elements such as race, gender, class, caste, religion, culture, and sexual preference, among others.
  • Opposing the criminalization of social movements that threatens democratic processes and institutions, human rights, and human rights defenders, evidenced by the shrinking of democratic spaces worldwide through the abuse of military or police forces, often legitimatized by normative rules put in place.
  • Rejecting all ongoing forms of political/state violence and abuse through human rights violations which mainly affects women and children in all areas of their lives – health, education, housing, land, livelihoods, etc.
  • Rejecting militarization and imposition of global policies that go against resistance and rebellion of impoverished populations in their legitimate right to protest.
  • Supporting and contributing to an increase in knowledge, evidenced by local experience, in confronting fundamentalisms of a neoliberal and extractive system and authoritarian governments and neofascist groups which are putting democracy at risk and colluding with the ongoing regression of fundamental rights for women and LGBTQI+ groups, witnessed in everyday aspects of life – religion, culture, and education.
  • Acting as a catalyst – through messages, statements, knowledge production, and campaigns with elements from local-based organizing – thus challenging the dissemination of fake news and defending women´s rights to land locally, regionally, and globally.
  • Deepening regional analysis and consensus in defense of democracies by bringing together feminist women’s organizations with independent political partnership.
  • Promoting the Escazú Agreement, especially regarding food sovereignty and in defense of land and territories.
  • Fostering solidarity with other feminist and women’s groups, organizations, and social movements while strengthening the political agenda for women and their struggles on the ground over body-land-territories.

Call to action

As a call for action in our collective positioning towards a real transformative gender intersectional agenda for women’s land rights movements and supporters, we agreed on the need to urgently implement and advocate for the following:

  • Empower young women on political decolonial feminism.
  • Ensure that grassroots women, who are in the forefront of the fight for land and environmental rights, are listened to for what they need most from other sectors to help in the defense of their territory.
  • Strengthen movements as an important bridge for grassroots organizations to position themselves and learn from a variety of experiences worldwide.
  • Consider oppressive geopolitical and economic structures that exploit peoples and territories in the global south, especially women, in all analysis and advocacy.
  • Exchange strategies that as women we have built in the defense of our territory at local and regional levels.
  • Plan new strategies for advocacy across borders so that we can widen and strengthen our voices.
  • Work globally to position transformative practices and attitudes that create a collective agenda.
  • Educate men to learn and perceive their privileges, understanding that the bodies of women belong to women only and men must respect that and value it.
  • Work collectively in platforms creating solidarity, and support other women who are unable to express their voices due to oppressive systems.
  • Build information and knowledge from the ground to serve as evidence for advocacy, as international institutions need access to this.
  • Insist that donors be well informed by grassroots women and their organizations, understanding and respecting their work and needs based on their specific realities. Donor support must respond to the needs of these women, strengthen their local work in their different contexts, and enable them to directly advocate for and claim their rights at the international level.  
  • Conduct research on previously identified roots causes and understand how they are structural.

Considering pressing global challenges that threaten democracies, the environment, marginalized groups, global peace and life itself, and bringing to the center of all discussions our positioning and the urgent actions indicated above to bring about transformation, we demand  inclusion, participation, the end of all types of violence, and support for our movements at the community level so that we are able to conduct our trainings, exchange experiences among our movements, and continue to learn from each other.

      Finally, we call on everyone present at the CSW67 to join forces in the struggle for gender justice and women’s rights to land and territories as well as to unite, amplify voices and analysis from women’s struggles for diverse constituencies, building alliances to bring change to address oppressive practices and social norms for a just and equal society for all.

The Feminist Land Platform’s best resilience practices

There is a diversity of practices that show the richness of the territorial work carried out by the organisations that make up the Feminist Land Platform (FLP), a network of organisations that fight for women’s land rights in the Global South.

We’ve decided to map these practices to get a broader view of the work done in each territory and allow the other communities to learn and adapt tools and strategies to their local realities. 

The best resilience practices that were mapped focus on four thematic areas:

a) Women’s rights to lands and territories (successful tools and processes);

b) Political training for women’s leadership;

c) Agroecology and forest, land and territory management and;

d) Safe access to water.

You can find below a visual representation of the thematic areas included in each organisation’s work, followed by more information about each of the thematic areas and a list of some of the practices.

feminist land platform best resilience practices

Thematic areas

Agroecology

Agroecology has been applied in a variety of ways and it has proven to be a strong ally in managing forests, lands and territory.  For instance, agroecological practices and seed wealth preservation allow for women of landowning and landless class food and seed sovereignty. Additionally, backyard urban gardens for self-consumption have reduced food insecurity in which people find themselves as a result of the loss of their livelihoods. The development and maintenance of urban gardens responds to contemporary needs: community strengthening, landscape improvement, urban habitability, leisure, environmental education, use of rainwater, and improvement of the economy and food autonomy. Agroecology efforts have been carried out by Fundación Plurales, Espaço Feminista, Luna Creciente, MUDECI,  TIN HINAN, and UBINIG.

Right to land and territories

Women have fought to access their rights to land by using a variety of strategies to secure their ability to continue to strive and contribute to communities where they have chosen to live. These successful tools and processes involve accessing legal rights and building public policy that is culturally and gender sensitive and consonant with the relevance of historical processes of resistance. Initiatives include using technology to collect data that proves how long women have occupied their lands and dwellings, cases of expropriation, as well as collecting data that contributes to strengthening women’s security and autonomy in their territories. This thematic area has been implemented by five FLP organizations in Latin America (Fundación Plurales, Espaço Feminista) and Africa (Fórum Mulher, AZUL, and PWESCR).

Climate adaptation

Climate change has become a major threat to humanity. As a result, natural disasters, droughts, and shortage of natural resources have become commonplace globally.  Though it has affected all countries, climate change has had greater impact on the poorest and most vulnerable.  “The consequences of climate change now include, among others, intense droughts, water scarcity, severe fires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice, catastrophic storms and declining biodiversity[1].” Initiatives focused on safe access to water to address climate change have been carried out by Plurales, Luna Creciente, and TIN HINAN.

Advocacy

If one considers that every choice is political act, then political awareness is an essential tool for transforming the world. Political training is one of the main ways to promote discussions and understanding about differences aiming for equity. When taken towards promoting autonomy and empowerment of women in different aspects and levels it becomes one of the pillars of the feminisms emancipation processes. Political training for women´s leadership initiatives have been carried out by Plurales, Espaço Feminista, Luna Creciente, Fórum Mulher, and PWECR.

Governance

This thematic area is often derived from political training for women leaders.  It allows for political visibility and perspective, from a general to particular contexts in communities. It targets actions to address violations by actors who contribute directly or indirectly to climate crisis and the damage to women’s territories and bodies. Hence, the most effective strategies to promote such governance is through the development of common intervention agendas which influence directly the ability of women to occupy positions of power. This allows them to make informed decisions that have positive impacts on their right to land and territory as well as increases their ability to address threats face as a result of climate change. Political participation of women – through the leadership they play in their communities and in the relationship that they establish with public authorities – is key to ensuring communal territory governance. The FLP organizations working on this issue include Espaço Feminista, Luna Creciente, TIN HINAN, and PWESCR.


[1] United Nations Climate Action. In https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/what-is-climate-change.

Best resilience practices

Country: Mali

Organisation: TIN HINAN MALI

Responsible person: Fadimata Walet ABDALAH.

Practice: Participation of the women of Banguikogho in the management of their forest area.

Country: Morocco

Organisation: AZUL

Responsible person: Amina AMHARECH

Practice: Application to collect cases of spoliation.

Country: Tanzania

Organisation: Pastoral Women’s Council Tanzania

Responsible person: Ruth Kihiu

Practice: Advancing the Land Rights of Indigenous Women in Northern Tanzania.

Country: Argentina

Organisation: Plurales Foundation

Responsible person: Marta Esber

Practices:

  • Training at the Intersection of Environmental Justice and Gender.
  • Access to Safe Water
  • Reforestation and productive practice with the carob tree.
  • Women Environmental Defenders Program.

Country: Brazil

Organisation: Espaço Feminista do Nordeste para Democracia e Direitos Humanos

Responsible person: Anamaria Melo and Natali Lacerda

Practices:

  • Productive inclusion of agroecological basis – Strengthening the autonomy and identity of rural women: agroecology, food sovereignty and network of women producers.
  • Feminist and anti-racist political formation – strengthening the identity and autonomy of women through formative processes and the strengthening of networks.
  • Land regularization as a guarantee of women’s right to land – Strengthening safety and autonomy – individual and collective of women.

Country: Ecuador

Organisation: Movimiento Nacional de Mujeres Luna Creciente

Responsible person: Clara Merino

Practice: Political training for women’s organizations in Ecuador

Country: Mexico

Organisation: Mujeres, Democracia y Ciudadanía A.C

Responsible person: Elsa María Arroyo Hernández

Practice: Urban Agriculture Training Center

Country: Bangladesh

Organisation: UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative)

Responsible person: Farida Akhter

Practice: Nayakrishi agroecological practices and Seed wealth preservation