Women’s Front: Asian Women asserts “food over gold”


By INNABUYOG-GABRIELA

Over the years, large-scale corporate mining has caused tremendous damage to the food resources of rural communities putting indigenous and peasant women in more difficult hunger and human rights situation. Large mining has caused irreversible damage to the environment — defacing mountains, caused desertification and heavy siltation, damage of water resources and agricultural lands. Yet, most governments all over the world continue to support the mining industry, opt for the interest of mining transnationals over peoples’ rights to resources and the environment.

The Asia-Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) is a network of women organizations and individuals in the Asia Pacific region that promotes women’s human rights in the face of globalization, militarization and fundamentalism. Particularly, its Task Force on Women and Environment launched the “Food Over Gold” campaign in 2005 as part of APWLD’s food sovereignty campaign.

The Task Force WEN, convened by Vernie Yocogan- Diano of Innabuyog aims to highlight the impact of mining to women and food sovereignty given the heightened aggressiveness of mining corporations since the World Bank called for the liberalization of the mining industry in the early 90’s. In the previous years, WEN has organized some forums regarding women and mining and mining fact-finding missions. These forums served as venues for effectively analyzing the impact of mining on food sovereignty, on women’s rights as a whole and in the light of human security laws enforced by governments in the Asia-Pacific. In the light of the world’s outcry against climate change and global warming, the Task Force on Women and Environment of APWLD will also concretize its work to respond to this concern.

APWLD’s Task Force WEN held a study session on women and mining in Asia on 17-20 July 2008 in Baguio City to strengthen its resolve for women’s food sovereignty over the destruction of environment at the Igorot Lodge, Asian Institute Management Conference Centre, Club John Hay, Baguio City. Participants came from women’s organizations from Cambodia, India, Thailand, Philippines, Mongolia, Korea and Indonesia to discuss on the international trends in mining, mining and food sovereignty, mining and indigenous women, mining and militarization and the health issues that goes with mining. The study session also looked into the opportunities where women in Asia can bring their collective voice for actions, both in the local, national and international arena. #(NorDis)

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