Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Radically Feminist Vandana Shiva on Patriarchal Economics and Agribusiness

image is from here
Small farmers, many of them women, are threatened the world over by corporate agribusiness that follows an aggressive economic-cultural-political anti-Life practice steeped and infused with Western White Male Supremacist values and worldviews. In India, among many other places, there is a crisis. Dr. Shiva has been addressing this crisis, offering radically feminist solutions to the problems of an increasingly globalised conservative capitalist patriarchal way of being that is as unethical ans it is unsustainable.

For some of the written history of this analysis and protest, please click on the following link (title):

Monocultures, Monopolies, Myths And The Masculinisation Of Agriculture
by Vandana Shiva
Director Research Foundation for Science,
Technology and Ecology - India

I found what follows at Toward Freedom *here*. But the original is from Al Jazeera and may be linked to at the end of this excerpt.

Vandana Shiva: No Therapy in Retail

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Al Jazeera
The entry of big corporations into the food chain pushes up retail costs and decreases the share of the farmer.

New Delhi, India - In November 2011, when the UPA government announced that it had cleared the entry of big retail chains such as Walmart and Tesco into India through 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, it justified the decision saying that FDI in retail would boost food security and benefit farmers' livelihoods.

But the assurance that FDI in retail would ease inflation did not resolve the political crisis the government was facing; it deepened it. Parliament was stalled for several days of the Winter Session, after which the government was forced to withdraw its decision.

The story of FDI in retail goes back to 2005, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed an agriculture agreement with the US, along with the nuclear agreement. On the board of the US-India Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture, as it is called, sit Monsanto (the world's leading producer of GM seeds), ConAgra (among the world's biggest agribusinesses, along with Cargill) and Walmart (the world's largest retail giant).

Protests had prevented Walmart's entry into retail, but, in 2007, it did get a backdoor entry through a joint-venture with Bharti (their stores go by the names of Easyday and Best Price Modern Wholesale). No back-end infrastructure has been built so far, one of the other claims of the government about why we need retail giants.

The way the UPA government tried to ram through the decision on FDI in retail - without consulting the opposition parties, or even its allies - was clearly undemocratic. But the decision itself was also flawed. It illustrated a disconnect between an ideology based on market fundamentalism - which is the leaning of the present government - and the Indian reality of small farms and small retail.

Caribbean Feminist News for the first few days of 2012 and links to CODE RED


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Feminist conversations on Caribbean life

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The Good, Bad and the Ugly of Caribbean feminist, gender & sexuality news this week

Here are some of the top stories in Caribbean feminist and gender news for Jan 1-9, 2012:
The Good
Guyana to begin vaccinating girls against HPV this week!  This month is Cervical Cancer Awareness month.  What a great way to begin the month! Time for the other Caribbean countries to follow Guyana’s lead!
Some Good, Some Bad
Dominica and The Bahamas have been ranked among the top 10 ethical destinations in the developing world for 2012. Countries were evaluated in three main categories: environmental protection, social welfare and human rights. Dominica was lauded for its renewable energy policy and for being one of the few Caribbean nations to sign a statement of LGBTQ rights at the UN in 2011. The Bahamas received kudos for its commitment to shark conservation. Both Dominica and The Bahamas were ranked highly in terms of political rights, civil liberties and press freedom. Barbados was on last year’s list, but wasn’t included in the 2012 ranking; the reason given was that the government has not shown itself to be committed to its promises of environmental protection and sustainability.
The Bad
Woman in Guyana dies after unsafe abortion even though abortion has been legal there since 1996. Former Minister of Health says that women may be uninformed about certified abortion providers.
The Ugly
JLP described PM Portia Simpson Miller’s decision to appoint three women to the Cabinet as ‘jobs for the girls’.Three woman cabinet members dismissed as illegitimate, unnecessarily costly excess baggage just because they are women, no, girls!
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