“I give you a message from my heart,” she says, “let’s move forward and work together for the benefit of everyone. And especially for those who work in the fields, as we are the ones who suffer the most.”
That is the voice of Arminda, a farmer and agro-forestry advocate from Bolivia, who is among a number of women farmers and activists featured in a campaign video by Oxfam International which celebrates female voices from around the world who are raising the alarm about climate change, organizing their communities in response, challenging others to recognize their wisdom, and pressuring local and national officials to follow their lead.
According to Oxfam, the small group of brave women in the film is just a sample of the thousands of others who are standing up to the ravages of climate change – and to the governments and big businesses who are allowing runaway global warming to destroy the world.
With Sunday recognized by the United Nations as International Women’s Day, Oxfam’s focus on the vital role played by the women farmers is part of the organization’s ongoing GROW Campaign, which targets the intersection of hunger, climate change, and global inequality.
Alison Woodhead, director of the campaign, says women make up 43 percent of the agricultural workforce in the world’s developing countries and play a vital role in both food production and preparation.
These women, explains Woodhead in a blog post on Sunday, “have a wealth of knowledge about seeds, crops, water and land management. But the imbalanced responsibility of them putting food on their own family tables, as well as producing much of the world’s sustenance, is getting tougher all the time because of increasingly unpredictable weather.”