Declaration of rural women against land grabbing in Senegal

[version française ici]

Declaration of rural women against land grabbing in Senegal

We, the women of rural Senegal, united at CICES on Tuesday, 17 April 2012 for the 13th edition of the Foire Internationale de l’Agriculture et des Resources Animales – FIARA (International Agricultural and Animal Resource Fair) and the International Day of Peasant Struggle, to issue a public declaration about our living and working conditions;

Considering that Senegal has ratified all of the texts and laws on the advancement of women and gender equality as well as the Declaration of the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (2006) on equal access of women to land and resource control;

Recalling that Senegal included in the preamble to its Constitution of January 2011 the principles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, including the right to equal access to resources, including land;

Noting that over the last few years Senegal has been subject to land grabbing and the neoliberal commodification of natural resources, of which women in general and all rural dwellers are the primary victims;

Acknowledging that land grabbing goes hand in hand with increasing private sector control over food and agriculture through greater control over resources such as land, water, seeds and other natural resources;

Considering that many governments justify land grabbing by asserting that modern agro-industrial techniques will improve local agricultural practices perceived as “archaic,” and will guarantee food security;

Considering that, while this is a very widespread belief around the world, it is totally false and does not stand up to the realities demonstrated by family farming;

Considering that without equal access and control over resources by rural actors and women producers in particular, Millennium Development Goals 1 and 3, that is, to “eradicate extreme poverty and hunger” and “promote gender equality and empower women”, will not be attained by 2015;

Committed to demanding and struggling for the systematic respect of our rights,

We, the women of Senegal, with the other women of the world, demand that:

The State:
  • put an end to land grabbing and regain control over spoilated lands since land must belong to those who work it in order to feed themselves and the country;
  • implement land reform that will safeguard family farms and ensure social justice in rural areas;
  • put an end to the control exercised by a handful of investors and transnational companies on the lives of billions of people;
  • oppose the principles of so-called “responsible agricultural investment” proposed by the World Bank, given that this type of investment cannot be responsible if it allows investors and multinationals to take over the lands of women and men peasant farmers;
  • promote an agricultural model based on family farming and food sovereignty.
Local government units:
  • show more transparency in their allocation of lands under their management;
  • ensure capacity-building of advisors and other parties responsible for land management;
  • restore a climate of trust with populations through the introduction of citizen consultations on land management.
Done in Dakar on 17 April 2012

  •   CNCR
  • 17 April 2012
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