The UN Department of Public Information (DPI),
in partnership with the Temple of Understanding, presents
Women as Roots of Change: Sustainable Food Production and Sovereignty
Part of the 61st Commission on the Status of Women (Side Event)
Thursday, March 23, 2017, 11 am – 12:45 pm
Conference Room 2, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Building on the intersections between Sustainable Development Goals 2, 5, and 6, this briefing will feature the voices of Indigenous people and highlight women’s leadership role in sustainable food production and sovereignty.
The relevant Sustainable Development Goals include:
2. Zero Hunger
5. Gender Equality
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
Roots of Change: Reclaiming Economics for Women and Community
Part of the 61st Commission on the Status of Women
Thursday, March 16, 10:30 am
Salvation Army, Downstairs
221 E 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022
Women’s opportunity and necessity has traditionally been in farming and textiles. It is crucial to re-vision women’s roles in a broader context. Women’s economic empowerment needs to involve equity, ownership, and a community focus. Our 10-minute film Roots of Change: Food Sovereignty, Women and Eco-Justice demonstrates the dangers we face as corporations replace local family farms and fisheries. It features women’s perspectives and includes men on all levels, suggesting the values we need to foster in order to reclaim our economic future.
Speakers will address concerns such as loss of local knowledge, community based solutions, innovative practices, and the impacts of international trade. In our interconnected world, women’s empowerment lies in a robust local community as well as justice in the global community.
Co-sponsored by the Temple of Understanding, the Women’s Major Group, and the Mining Working Group.
On A Gender-Just & Sustainable Trade Agenda
Part of the 61st Commission on the Status of Women
Monday, March 20, 2017, 1:15 – 2:30 pm
Ex-Press Bar, Third Floor
United Nations HQ, New York
- Grove Harris, Temple of Understanding, moderating and introducing short film Roots of Change: Food Sovereignty, Women and Eco-Justice
- Chantal Line Carpentier, PhD. Chief, UNCTAD New York Office
- Kate Lappin, Regional Coordinator, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
- Respondents, with local/regional updates and promising practices
Temple of Understanding
Women’s Major Group
Mining Working Group
UNCTAD – Trade, Gender and Development
Women’s Major Group Joint Statement – UNCTAD 14
Temple of Understanding – Food Sovereignty
“All I wanted were five simple things: rice, beans, a horse, a goat, and a house,” Blain Snipstal, visionary Maryland farmer, social activist, and keynote speaker at the National Conference on Domestic Fair Trade, reflects. “And I’m now on a journey around the world to get those five simple things.”
Our agricultural system suffers from a loss of connection – from the food that we eat, from the land, from one another. The commoditization of food through industrial agriculture has fundamentally changed our relationships with both the harvest and the harvesters. And Snipstal, through what he calls “peasant farming,” is on a mission to change that.
In southwest Tanzania, there are several villages in the mountains with no WiFi or electricity, multiple transportation challenges and a scarcity of water. But these villages are also home to farmers who are successfully producing food for their families and friends on neighborhood plots of land.
It’s those farmers Holly Budd traveled to meet. Holly, who is chairperson of the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association, visited Tanzania last year as a volunteer for Catholic Relief Services’ Farmer-to-Farmer program. Farmer-to-Farmer promotes sustainable economic growth, agricultural development and food security in communities in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. During her visit, Holly helped farmers better organize as a group and to learn more about business contracts.
“So we learned about what was in contracts and what would be important to them to have in a farming contract. I wanted them empowered to actually say, ‘I don’t want this. Cross it out and initial it.’”
But Holly says people in the United States can also learn from those overseas.
“They’re not dependent on anyone else because they’re producing it for themselves. Look at the people living in the states and in the city now. If we have the apocalypse, many of us have nowhere to go for food except to raid the shelves at the 7-Eleven. And once that’s gone, we’re done,” Holly says. “But over there, they have a lot of knowledge about how to grow their own food. They make their own bricks. They can build their own houses and they’re going to be chugging along the same way now and then, whereas we’re going to be falling apart.”
Premiere and Discussion
Dr. Chantal Line Carpentier
(Chief, New York UNCTAD)
Dr. Azza Karam (UNFPA)
speakers from the film and audience members
Monday, October 24, 2-4 PM
Church Center at the United Nations
2nd Floor Conference Room
1st Ave and 44th St., NYC
“We can no longer afford to keep women at bay, to keep them
from the resources that they need to be able to grow food,
to be able to feed their families, to be able to feed their communities,
to bring their knowledge and their leadership to the fore.”
–Grove Harris, Roots of Change
Roots of Change features women’s spirited calls to change our global direction. In this visually striking short film, women warn of the current realities and looming threats of food crisis, climate change, and corruption. Women’s leadership and ownership in local systems of food production are desperately needed–as is the collaboration of their husbands, brothers, fathers, and sons. This leadership and ownership is what is meant by food sovereignty.
Through grassroots activism and transformation of global trade, people can work to curb exploitation of people and the planet. Foreign direct investment must be shaped to benefit women and Indigenous people. Additionally, people’s rights to commonly held resources such as water and agricultural land must be protected.The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals were designed to address the root causes of inequality. Both education and financial resources are required to address needs such as clean water and sanitation, nourishing food, and affordable clean energy. But the sustainability goals cannot be met without the full participation of women. Their effort and knowledge is needed to move forward, to develop diversified agricultural systems that will sustain humanity through the crisis of global climate change.
Roots of Change envisions a revolution in values that will result in clean water and nourishing food for all: a global culture in harmony with the environment that values relationships more than things. Only with a radical system shift that liberates the voices and bodies of women can we achieve a future that is healthy, diverse, peaceful, and whole.
Speakers in the film come from the Temple of Understanding’s events at the Commission on the Status of Women, the annual forum for advocacy on women’s issues at the United Nations.
Tea and cookies will be served.
Leaders of Color Discuss Structural Racism and White Privilege in the Food System
What can the food movement learn from Black Lives Matter in this tumultuous moment?
We’ve long reported on food justice and last year wrote about why food belongs in our discussions of race. But we know we have a lot more work to do. In that spirit, we reached out to leaders of color in the food justice community for their thoughts about how they think the “food movement” might come together on the issues of race, equity, and access.
Via Global One:
Global One supported by Eid Charity has piloted a first of its kind Islamic Farming project that combines a rich Islamic tradition of innovative agriculture and conservation techniques with Islam’s core environmental principles to improve food sovereignty, livelihood opportunities, and the increased learning and participation of women in this sector in Kenya, East Africa.
KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato, Philippines (1 Apr 2016):
Five are confirmed dead, 2 females and 3 males, while 87 are still missing and not accounted for…
Police and Army soldiers cordoned the nearby Methodist Church where some 4,500 protesters have sought refuge after state security forces using automatic Armalite rifles opened fire at barricading farmers, estimated at 6,000 in a violent dispersal operation that wounded a hundred protesters….
The Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC) condemned the State troops for firing their guns on farmers who were only demanding food aid assistance from the government’s calamity fund after they had suffered losses brought by months-long drought caused by El Nino.
Food Sovereignty, Women & Sustainability:
The Roots of System Change
2016 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
Friday, March 18, 2016
Salvation Army (SA), 221 E. 52nd St., New York
8:30 AM in the auditorium
This panel explored access to healthy food as a lens toward understanding the interconnections of all our equity and sustainability issues. Ensuring sustainable food for all is clearly both a practical and a moral effort; faith communities have long been committed to this. Access to decent food can be seen as a crosscutting issue through all the Sustainable Development Goals; it touches on justice, sovereignty, health, climate change, water, economy, faith and world peace, and women’s leadership in all these arenas. The nourishment, health, economics, sustainability and peace of families, communities and nation states improve as the leadership and literacy of women increase.
Panelists reflected from their diverse perspectives on specific strategies towards food sovereignty for all, as well as what sustains them in their work, both in literal food and in spirit. Meeting this most basic human need can illuminate a path towards a healthier and more just future.
Chantal Line Carpentier, chief, New York UNCTAD Office
Nina Simons, co-founder of Bioneers
Jen Kopec, intuitive healer, consciousness in food and body
Grove Harris, Representative to the United Nations, Temple of Understanding
Temple of Understanding
UNCTAD New York
Parliament of World’s Religions
Mining Working Group
Feminist Task Force