Towards a Feminist Methodology for Implementing the Right to Food in Agrarian Communities

10 September 2021

In an article published in The Journal of Peasant Studies, our former Senior Research Fellow Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni discusses the extent to which a feminist approach makes a difference to the realization of the rights to food, land, decent work, and social security.

The primary question that the author asks is the extent to which a feminist approach - focusing on power relations, the development or contextualization of norms from ‘below’ through inclusive and broad-based participation in food policy-making - make a difference to the realization of the rights to food, land, decent work and social security.

Based on Research Carried out in Cambodia and Ghana

The article brings together reflections arising from the qualitative research on gender equality, agricultural and land commercialization and the right to food that was carried out within the DEMETER (gender, land and the right to food) project in Cambodia and Ghana between 2015 and 2021.

The Geneva Academy has been a co-coordinator of this project – along with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, the University of Ghana and the MultiAngles Centre in Cambodia – and has led its human rights component.

The Need for a Feminist Approach

‘Our research in the two countries reveals the ways in which top-down, technical approaches to gender mainstreaming as a mechanism to address the observed inequalities in the promotion and protection of the rights to food and land has failed to effectively identify and respond to the impacts of Neo-liberal forms of rural development’ underlines Dr Bourke Martignoni

‘A feminist approach is therefore crucial for drawing attention to the real struggles faced by women in both countries to realize their rights to food and land and to the need to engage in a far-reaching, participatory transformation of the institutions responsible for implementing agricultural and land governance programmes’ she adds.

A further way in which a feminist approach is important is that it provides a crucial counter-narrative to policy discourses that construct a picture of women as helpless ‘victims’ of poverty and disadvantage by highlighting both their agency and their diversity.

The main conclusions and recommendations emerging from the DEMETER research relate to the need to centre human rights-based approaches and feminist methodologies within policy-making and legislative processes so that these are inclusive and informed by diverse, critical voices ‘from below’. The paper also insists on the need for the inter-related rights to land, food, decent work and social protection to form part of institutional responses to agricultural and land governance challenges.

Coverpage of The Journal of Peasant Studies

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

GHRP staff in New York UN headquarters News

GHRP's 2023 Conference Strengthens Geneva-New York Human Rights Interconnectedness

6 November 2023

This landmark event of our Geneva Human Rights Platform focused on the need to bridge the gap between Geneva-based human rights mechanisms and the UN in New York, based on the interrelated nature of human rights issues across both cities.

Read more

Students of our MAS in Transitional Justice during a class News

Apply to our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law!

27 November 2023

Applications for the 2024–2025 academic year of our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law are open. They will run until 26 January 2024 for applications with a scholarship and until 24 February 2024 for applications without a scholarship.

Read more

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

11-15 November 2024

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

Read more

Garment workersto receive food from their factory during lunch time. This food is freely provided by their factory in order to ensure that workers eat healthy and hygienic food. Training

Business and Human Rights

2-6 September 2024

This training course will examine how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights have been utilized to advance the concept of business respect for human rights throughout the UN system, the impact of the Guiding Principles on other international organizations, as well as the impact of standards and guidance developed by these different bodies.

Read more

Un plate with Rapporteur Spécial written on it Project

Support to UN Special Procedures

Started in June 2020

Read more

Crops view from the sky Project

The Right to Food in Europe

Started in December 2022

This research will provide legal expertise to a variety of stakeholders on the implementation of the right to food, and on the right to food as a legal basis for just transformation toward sustainable food systems in Europe. It will also identify lessons learned from the 2023 recognition of the right to food in the Constitution of the Canton of Geneva.  

Read more

Cover Page of Research Brief Publication

Unpacking the Burgeoning Challenge of Environmental Protection and the Right to Food in the Context of Armed Conflict

published on April 2024

Erica Harper, Junli Lim

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

Briefing N° 23: The Human Rights Data Revolution

published on April 2024

Domenico Zipoli

Read more