ALRD celebrates International Rural Women’s Day
In celebration of the International Rural Women’s Day, the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD), Nijera Kori, and Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) organized a seminar on Land rights, food sovereignty and rural women in Dhaka on 11 October 2015.
The seminar brought 120 academicians, rights activists, women leaders, rural women and farmers together to acknowledge the significant role of women in agriculture despite being deprived of land rights.
BELA Chief Executive Syeda Rizwana Hassan, in her keynote speech, stated that women contribute 61% to the agricultural sector of GDP in Bangladesh; however, only 18% of women own land. Moreover, from an FAO report, 500 million of the 836 million people suffering from malnutrition are women – one attribution to this is women’s deprivation of land ownership.
Women leaders also shared their struggles against land grabbers which include lower wages and issues on joint land ownership. On the other hand, success story featured the importance of women cooperatives in practicing organic farming.
ALRD Executive Director Shamsul Huda demanded low interest loan for rural women farmers while Nijera Kori Chair Khusi Kabir stressed the need to break the wage discrimination between men and women farmers.
Additionally, marking the day of rural women, ALRD, Nijeri Kori, and BELA released a poster themed, Raise Voiced Women’s Rights and Access to Land and Natural Resources, to extend their solidarity on global campaign on “No Land, No Life: 16 days of global action on rural women.”
The poster highlighted their demands on women’s land rights including food sovereignty, women’s rights as human rights, agricultural lands protection, solidarity among IPs, fighting against land grabbing, ensuring women’s access to khas lands and beels, and support to women’s cooperatives.