The 7th Marcha das Margaridas, which translates to March of the Daises, was held on 15 August 2023 and rallied women to voice and champion their rights. Held every four years, the March brought together thousands of women to advocate for agrarian reforms, justice, equality, education, and a dignified life for rural workers and attracted over 100,000 women from the Caribbean, Asia Pacific, Africa, and Europe.
This year, activists marched under the slogan, “For the Reconstruction of Brazil and For Bem Viver," and the event aimed at strengthening and unionizing rural women, consolidating and raising awareness about their contribution to food sovereignty, and their participation in public policy discourse. The march gave women a platform to raise key concerns that needed policy reforms.
As a global network dedicated to securing women's land rights, family farming, and equitable land governance, the participation of ILC's members underscores their commitment to advancing gender equality and women's empowerment through land tenure security and family farming. Their demands included:
- the expansion of women's participation in politics;
- combating violence, racism, and sexism;
- economic autonomy;
- increasing access to land and education;
- improving food security;
- rural production allied to agroecology; and
- the universalization of the internet and digital inclusion
The president of Brazil Mr. Lula da Silva attended and agreed to eight decrees contributing to the public policy discourse in Brazil to address existing inequalities. The political debate of the Marchas was central to the rural contexts in which women suffer multiple forms of oppression and from which they construct their struggles and diverse political identities. It was in this space that, the ministry in charge of rights protection, Hon. Aline Yamamoto, declared the governments plans to expand tools to protect women at risk in rural areas by including patrolling vehicles, new shelter homes, and the introduction of a dedicated hotline.
Elva Ulcuango, representing Indigenous women from Kayambi, Luna Creciente, Ecuador, was delighted to see a procession of women of all ages and diversity marching with posters, music, and slogans advancing the rights of women in her life:
"I was fascinated by the experiences of organised women on how they manage their enterprises, marketing their products, processed from raw materials in their localities, and how they export some of their products as a way of making their own money to improve their livelihood. It was also a unique experience witnessing the president of Brazil and ministers interacting and responding to their concerns openly. Majority of the women, participation in the marcha was the beginning of an activist trajectory, many women started to identify themselves as feminists in this process. Understanding the feminist struggles and the marchas becomes a key process of political formation for popular feminist movements." - Elva Ulcuango
Training Women Activists to mark the UN Decade of Family Farming
The World Rural Forum (WRF), Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores Rurais Agricultores e Agricultoras Familiares (CONTAG), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) convened the 2nd International training of the Network of Rural Women in Action from August 16th - 18th, 2023, within the framework of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF- 2019-2028). The training provided a platform for women and actors to share experiences and anticipate the trajectory of what it means to be a family farmer in a rapidly changing world, and most importantly highlighted the role women play in eradicating hunger and shaping our future on food.
Elva Ulcuango comments, "From the experience and learning out of the training, I commit to share lessons learnt with women within the various spaces in Ecuador, increase advocacy to ensure timely monitoring of the fulfilment of public policies for women's rights, access to land, territory, climate justice, food security, and sovereignty through shadow reports."
Persida from Sinjajevina also commented on the training, "I had the opportunity to exchange experiences with women from all over the world. I listened to the various challenges each of them faces, learned from positive practices, and had the opportunity to speak about the fight to preserve Sinjajevina and the determination and perseverance of our women. I was filled with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to continue our work to empower both women and local communities in the Sinjajevina region. In the end, it's not just about representing one initiative or one region - it's about being part of a global movement to empower rural women, and I am immensely grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of it."