Rights of rural women finally addressed in CEDAW General Recommendation No.34


(Economic Rights / Gender-based discrimination / Human Rights Bodies)

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Welcoming the adoption of the first international instrument to address the rights of rural women holistically, FIAN International examines the core elements related to the human right to food and nutrition contained in the General Recommendation No. 34.

In March 2016, the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) adopted its General Recommendation No. 34 on the Rights of Rural Women. Its adoption is nothing less than the outcome of over three years of work by the Committee with support from civil society and social movements.

The General Recommendation is particularly significant because it is the first international instrument that specifically addresses the rights of rural women. Furthermore, it is the first that explicitly recognizes the human right to adequate food and nutrition of rural women within the framework of food sovereignty.

The adoption of this General Recommendation will continue helping raise the visibility of rural women’s human rights on the checklist of issues that the State parties must pay attention to when reporting to the Committee. In turn, it will enable civil society to hold their respective governments accountable for the human rights violations of rural women. This General Recommendation can also play a key role in informing and serving as a basis for upcoming and developing processes at the national, regional and global level.

On this note, FIAN International issues an analytical note that examines the elements related to the human right to food and nutrition that are contained in the General Recommendation. More specifically, the note focuses on: (1) the explicit recognition of the right to food and nutrition within the food sovereignty framework; (2) the recognition of the right to access, control, manage and own all natural and productive resources on which rural women depend; (3) the guarantee of decent work for all rural women workers, including access to social protection; (4) the recognition of the “intertwined subjectivities” of woman and child during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding and their framing through the lens of women’s rights throughout their lifespan; and (5) the protection of rural women’s roles in the production, processing, distribution, market access, trade, and investment related to the food systems from private actors.

You can find the analytical note here.