Saturday, December 9, 2017

Women’s rights have been historically isolated from the human RTFN within legally-binding language of key international human rights treaties

This structural isolation within human rights treaties has further aggravated the realities of rural women. Women are invisible in the International Covenant of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the women’s RTFN – beyond its limited link to the right to health – was omitted in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and both CEDAW and the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) only gave mention to pregnant and lactating women’s nutritional status. This poor reflection of women’s RTFN in international treaties has contributed to the marginalization and exclusion of women from decision-making processes that affect their local food systems, with a particular impact on the social groups most affected by hunger and malnutrition, especially rural women and girls. This neglect and exclusion combined with a wide-spread lack of knowledge of international human rights frameworks that could support rural women’s claims result in women and girls being unaware of and unable to access the powerful tool that is human rights to hold those in power to account. As a result, governments fail to implement effective measures to protect and advance the RTFN of rural women and instead implement country-level economic and development plans that directly respond to the demands and orientation of the neoliberal global economy and governments and that violate the RTFN by enabling the grabbing of affected groups’ natural resources, discriminating against women small-scale food producers and their food systems.

The present document is based, inter alia, on the joint FIAN International submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women for its General Discussion on Rural Women during its 56th Session in October 2013 and highlights the structural causes for violations of rural women’s right to food and nutrition and related human rights.

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