International Women’s Day: Women in the global food movement
6 March 2020
This Sunday, Germany’s capital joins many countries around the world in celebrating Women’s Day with a public holiday. To mark the occasion, ProVeg highlights some of the women working in various sectors of the global food movement.
Lindiwe Sibanda Majele
Lindiwe Sibanda Majele is a Zimbabwean academic and a researcher in African agricultural policy. Until 2018, she was the Chief Executive Officer of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, an organisation that promotes sustainable agriculture in Africa. Majele is the recipient of numerous awards for her contribution towards agriculture and food security in Africa, a continent where much of the agricultural work is done by women. Having grown up on a farm in rural Zimbabwe, Sibanda’s strong personal connection to Africa’s agricultural traditions has helped her become one of the continent’s leading advocates for food and nutrition security.
Carol J. Adams
Carol J. Adams is an American writer and feminist theorist. A leading figure in the animal rights movement, Adams is the author of the highly influential text, The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory, in which she explores the links between the oppression of women and that of non-human animals. In 2011, she was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame. She has also become an important voice in the rise of ecofeminism and recently co-edited the book Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth.
Vandana Shiva is an Indian physicist and social activist who stresses the ties between the food, seed, and pharmacological industries that threaten the planet’s ecological balance. In 1986, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Natural Resource Policy, an organisation devoted to developing sustainable methods of agriculture. Having authored more than 20 books, her work emphasises the importance of food sovereignty and seed banks, and challenges mainstream perspectives on globalisation and neoliberalism, particularly in relation to food security. Currently based in Delhi, Shiva is a key figure in the global food movement.
Michelle Obama is a leading voice for food justice. In 2008, she famously installed a food garden on the White House lawn, and went on to spearhead the Let’s Move campaign which aimed to reduce childhood obesity and encourage a healthy lifestyle in children in the U.S. The Let’s Move campaign was supplemented with the Chefs Move to Schools programme, a nationwide effort to teach cooking skills to school children and to get them to try new, healthier food options. Obama was also the driving force behind the ‘Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010’ which set new nutrition standards for American schools and facilitated a school lunch programme.
Sarumathi ‘Saru’ Jayaraman
Sarumathi ‘Saru’ Jayaraman is an American attorney, author, and activist who questions whether our consumption is really ethical when we’re purchasing ethical food but not ensuring that there are ethical labour practices for everyone working in the food production chain. She is an advocate for restaurant workers in San Francisco’s Bay Area, a co-founder of the non-profit public-service organisation Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, and the director of the Berkeley-based Food Labor Research Center. Furthermore, she is the author of Forked, which focuses on the importance of restaurant employees’ pay and benefits as a vital measure of quality in American dining.
Genesis Butler is one of the world’s youngest animal activists. Butler became a vegetarian when she was just five years old and embraced veganism about two years later. At the age of ten, Genesis became the youngest ever TedX speaker when she gave her inspiring talk on healing the planet through plant-based eating. She continues to advocate for animals through speaking engagements and social media, and has recently started her own foundation called Genesis For Animals. In 2018, she was awarded the Lisa Shapiro Young Animal Activist Award.
International Women’s Day 2020
We are dedicated to improving the world with the guidance of the 5 Pros, and the most relevant today is Pro Justice. Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day, an international awareness day focused this year on delivering a more balanced world, #BalanceforBetter. As stated on the International Women’s Day website, “A balanced world is a better world”, and we couldn’t agree more!