Photo: MST in Minas Gerais
Coluna Aromas de Março extols the importance of women in Popular Agrarian Reform in the struggle for a more egalitarian country
All over the world we are experiencing a crisis of the capitalist production model, which expresses its contradictions in different aspects, among them: political, economic, social, and environmental. In the environmental dimension, what we have observed is the intensification of the exploitation of natural goods and the exploitation of labor power, threatening mainly the poorest people, women, youth, black men and women.
The environmental crisis, a result of the capital exploitation model, has been increasingly intensified by the financialization of nature, as an interface of capital accumulation and the reinvention of its production and accumulation model.Throughout the world we are experiencing a crisis in the capitalist production model, which expresses its contradictions in different aspects, including: political, economic, social and environmental. In the environmental dimension, what we have observed is the intensification of the exploitation of natural goods and the exploitation of the labor force, threatening mainly the poorest people, women, youth, blacks and blacks.
The environmental crisis, the result of the capital exploitation model, has been increasingly intensified since the financialization of nature, as an interface for capital accumulation and reinvention of its production and accumulation model.
The consequences of this production model can already be identified through extreme climatic events, whether through the period of prolonged drought, heavy rains, dust rains, among others. However, these climatic disasters are felt in different ways from some markers, such as: social, economic, gender and race.
In this context, the existing oppressions are accentuated, in particular, for women. It’s black, indigenous, quilombola women, peripheral and Agrarian Reform and in conditions of extreme poverty that are most vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis, among them: lack of natural goods, food insecurity, risk of collapse, flooding etc. Women are among the subjects most affected by the ongoing environmental crisis, they are also excluded from building public policies to mitigate the effects of climate emergency
According to the ECLAC report ( 2021 ), the effects of climate emergence in Latin America and the Caribbean will be felt, in particular, in agriculture, directly affecting rural peoples, waters and forests, and in this group women will be the most impacted.
In view of this situation, the struggle of women does not only cover the question of class ( owner and non-owner ) and gender ( man and woman ), but also the racial issue, sexuality and the relationship with the environmental issue.
And why do women relate to the environmental struggle?
Because within this era of industrial capital and now in transition to financial capital, which is expressed in the organization of agrominerionegocio, the contradiction of the rupture between human beings and nature advances, that one does not depend on the other, and worse, it puts the human being superior to nature. As ecofeminist Yayo Herrero says, he places a wall between human beings and the rest of the living world, and with that he denies that we are ecodependent beings (that we depend on nature).
The consequences of this production model can already be identified through extreme climate events, either through prolonged droughts, heavy rains, dust storms, among others. However, these climate disasters are felt in different ways from some markers, such as: social, economic, gender, and race.
In this context, the already existing oppressions are accentuated, particularly for women. It is the black, indigenous, quilombola, peripheral and Agrarian Reform women and those living in extreme poverty who are the most vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis, among them: lack of natural resources, food insecurity, risk of landslides, flooding, etc. Women are among the subjects most affected by the ongoing environmental crisis, they are also excluded from the construction of public policies to mitigate the effects of the climate emergency.
According to the ECLAC report (2021), the effects of the climate emergency in Latin America and the Caribbean will be felt particularly in agriculture, directly affecting people from the countryside, the waters, and the forests, and within this group, women will be the most impacted.
Against this backdrop, the women’s struggle encompasses not only the issues of class (landowner and non-landowner) and gender (man and woman), but also the issues of race, sexuality, and the relationship with the environmental issue.
Thus, to ensure the existence of women and the environmental complexity it is necessary to unveil and denounce that the capitalist system, patriarchal, destructive/violator of nature and women as the cause of the environmental crisis that we suffer and feel on a daily basis from climate change, the destruction of territories, biomes and waters, as well as the generator of pandemics.
But it is not enough to unveil the main perpetrators, it is also necessary to point out paths to where we want to go and at the same time build real possibilities to walk and dismantle this violent structure. For this, the political organization of women in defense of nature, of territories, of biomes and their common goods and the production of healthy food based on agroecology is part of this construction and has been a reality for almost 40 years in the lives of landless women strengthening environmental complexity, food sovereignty, and women’s rights.
However, the popular answers and solutions to the crisis come from resistance experiences historically built by women in the territories. In this way, it will not be possible to overcome and/or minimize the climate crisis without the participation of women, either in the construction of policies that expand rights or in the construction of territorial sovereignty.
The construction of Popular Agrarian Reform and Popular Peasant Feminism is one of these strategic examples for the climate crisis and for the (re)existence of women and the Brazilian biomes, based on Agroecology and the National Plan Plant Trees, Produce Healthy Food.
There are many experiences and actions of women against the advance of agribusiness in the territories, based on the reaffirmation of the protagonism of landless women in the production of healthy food, in the care of the territory and the biome, pointing out that it is possible to build political organization, food sovereignty, income generation and care for common goods based on popular agrarian reform.
In our Brazilian biomes, there are innumerable experiences of Landless women who contribute significantly to the care of the commons and the reconstruction of environmental complexity by planting trees and producing food. Thus, Landless women plow daily experiences of resistance to the predatory model of exploitation of nature, denouncing agribusiness, and reaffirming through daily practices based on agroecology that popular agrarian reform contributes to the reconstruction of biomes and the conquest of women’s rights.
Therefore, thinking about horizons for the environmental crisis goes through the debate of popular agrarian reform and the construction of territories free from violence.
Agribusiness profits from hunger and violence. For Land and Democracy, Women in Resistance!
*Edited by Fernanda Alcântara