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Women Owning Land

I am speaking as a Latin American/Caribbean Jewish woman. I am also the daughter of a renowned ecologist who helped create the field of human ecology—an ecology that sees people as part of the ecosystem. So one of the things I know is that when women own land, we tend to own small farms, plant a variety of crops, and tend the soil. All this is important for the planet.

Women’s control of land also improves the economic situation for women and children and builds food security. It allows us to have economic independence and a source of food even when the markets for crops are poor. Feminist land reform is a frequent demand of Latin American feminists. I saw signs in one march in Paraguay that said feminist land reform is the solution to world hunger.

Because women are usually responsible for raising children, we often plant crops that are harvested at different times of year so that the work doesn’t happen all at once and we are able to parent and farm at the same time. This also preserves the soil and water. And we tend to plant crops that can be harvested without expensive machinery that uses fossil fuels.

Child rearing and our difficulty getting land mean that if we have land, we tend to stay where we are. Thus women farmers usually have a lot of local knowledge of the land and are often the first to notice changes in the environment and protest them.

Aurora Levins Morales

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

(Present Time 184, July 2016)


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00