This oral statement was broadcasted at the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to food on March 9th, 2023. Watch a video of the intervention here.
My name is Evelynne Gomez and I am making this statement on behalf of the Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, ARROW.
We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s report on the right to food, especially the note that “Sexual and gender-based violence also hinders women’s ability to make and enact decisions related to their bodies, sexual health and nutrition.”
According to the FAO, hunger affected 425 million in Asia in 2021, and the world’s most undernourished people live in Asia, with women and girls being disproportionately affected. The right to adequate food and nutrition is a basic human right that has direct links to the right to life and health including sexual and reproductive health.
Gendered threats to the human rights of especially women living in rural areas, with regards to food and nutrition, are intertwined with the pervasive patriarchal norms and practices that discriminate against women and girls. Furthermore, in times of economic crisis, cuts in spending have further aggravated rural women’s access to food and increased gender inequalities.
We call on States to enact the following recommendations:
- Guarantee women producers living in rural area’s access, control, management and ownership of all natural and productive resources on which they depend by recognising and upholding the centrality of people.
- Guarantee that women are not only involved in the aspects of production, processing and distribution of food, but their voices are also represented and heard within the macroeconomic decision-making policies.
- Ensure the agenda on food sovereignty is framed using women’s practical and strategic gender needs.
- Guarantee the full implementation at the national level of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Right to Food, the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Tenure, and CEDAW General Recommendation 34 on the rights of rural women