Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

Rural Women For Change

Women, particularly the rural women have been alienated from the development processes in Pakistan. Lok Sanjh Foundation of Pakistan is working with farming communities particularly with women farmers to help them organize themselves and enable them analyze social, economical and political problems associated with their lives and communities. Every year on the international Women Day, Lok Sanjh organizes women farmers’ conference. This year it was different and unique because the NOW (Network of Women-farmers), a newly formed network of women farmers co-hosted the conference with Lok Sanjh. The Fourth Women Farmers’ Conference on Food Sovereignty was organized on March 6, 2008 at Tanaza Dam in collaboration with NOW. Some highlights of conference include:

  • More than one thousand women farmers participated in the event. Their interaction, sharing and participation really show the empowerment that Lok Sanjh is struggling to cultivate in them for the last ten years.
  • A cooking festival was organized to celebrate food diversity and demonstrate the depth of local knowledge. Women prepared more than one hundred different local dishes using the food they produced in their communities. Every woman demonstrated very clearly that that was the women’s knowledge that gave taste to the food.
  • Issues of Food Sovereignty were discussed with detail. Women farmers also shared their experiences of different activities, which supported them to get out the poverty circle and ensure food security. They also discussed that income generation activities can empower the women and increase their role in decision-making.
  • The event also attracted the young generation and provided them the opportunity to learn. Girls from different schools delivered speeches, performed tableaus and dramas on women issues.
  • The members of (NOW) established stalls to display the handicrafts and embroidery.
  • The conference was well covered by the local and National electronic and print media to highlight the women issues.
  • The folk singers who participated in the event made the conference colourful with their songs.
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Local Organising Committee