While I am here at CSW 56 I had the opportunity to participate in very good discussions specially related to sustainable development and the inclusion of women.  This issue relates very much with the work we are doing back in my country and also in my family.

 One of the side events I had the pleasure to attend was “Voices of Rural Women: perspectives on Development Agriculture and environment”. As I was there, listening to Ana Chã, from the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement – MST/Brazil, I reflected a lot in the issues we are struggling in Brazil and that are affecting specially women.

 As Ana commented, we have in Brazil the invasion of big companies coming to invest in agribusiness, leaving behind 5 million landless people. Seeds are being modified, natural resources being used without limits and it relates to the lives of many small farmers that just want to have a peace of land to work and produce their food. Among them many are women.

 Beyond that, it is also really concerning the fact that Brazil is the major consumer of agricultural pesticides in the world. The medium quantity of pesticides consumed in Brazil is estimated in 5.2 litres per Brazilian per year. The advance of agribusiness utilizes a production model that beyond the concentration of land uses high amounts of pesticides to ensure industrial-scale production.

 As we discuss the empowerment of rural women, the CSW theme, we need to address and take in account all these issues. A sustainable development can’t be build without thinking on how protect diversity and the continuation of food production. A just and sustainable development needs to consider the voices of the women who have a historical relation in preserving nature and producing food and it also means find ways to stop land grabbing and the use of pesticides.

I am going back to my country strengthened to continue the work towards a world more inclusive and sustainable, where women can have space to discuss and to advocate for their rights. I am going back more strengthened to continue advocating for a rural space that produces food free of pesticides, where people can have food sovereignty and quality on life.

There is no sustainable development if we don’t think about inclusion of women, youth and the poor. There is no diversity without inclusion of all. And to include all we need education for people to know their rights.

 Daniele Schmidt Peter

 Daniele works for CAPA – Suport Center for Small Farmers www.capa.org.br , an NGO created by the Evangelical Church of Lutheran Confession in Brazil – IECLB – a church member of the Lutheran World Federation. CAPA’s mission is support small farmers to sustainable development, producing food through ecological agriculture. Ecological agriculture is a way of life and means producing food without pesticides and chemical products but above all, means the inclusion of family and all its members in the decision making in the work and in the outcomes of this work.