Is food sovereignty a feminist practice? Interrogating the gender dimensions of food sovereignty

Convenors
Annette Aurélie Desmarais, Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Social Justice and Food Sovereignty, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Annette.desmarais@umanitoba.ca)
Rita Calvário, Center of Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal. (ritamcalvario@gmail.com)

Gender equality/equity is a critical element of the theory, discourse and practice of food sovereignty. Indeed, in this approach “women’s rights are non-negotiable” (Patel 2009). Yet, there is a considerable research gap on the gendered dimensions of food sovereignty (Agarwal 2014; Masson et al. 2017). This session will interrogate the role of food sovereignty in transforming social relations by analyzing if and how food sovereignty — as an on-going process of food system transformation (Schiavoni 2017) and feminist practice (Masson et al. 2017) — helps creates a “deep egalitarianism” (Menser 2008) that confronts unequal power relations, structures and processes, based on sex, race, patriarchy and class.

We invite papers that address questions such as:

  • How does food sovereignty address deeply entrenched social relations and structural barriers to women’s equality and gender equity in the countryside in specific locales?
  • How does women’s agency in those places shape food sovereignty approaches, strategies and actions?
  • How are gendered struggles around food sovereignty more locally, national or internationally constructed, and why does this matter?

Gaining a better understanding of the gender dimensions of food sovereignty and food justice struggles is especially important given the on-going rise of right-wing populism that is afflicting the countryside in many countries. How are food sovereignty and food justice struggles curtailing this dangerous political trend, and what learnings to they provide for building an emancipatory rural politics?

Deadline: 8th February.

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