ISTANBUL, Turkey - More than 2,000 women’s rights activists and grassroots leaders from across the world have come together for the 12th Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) International Forum from 19-22 April, 2012. Themed Transforming Economic Power, the AWID Forum seeks to identify ways for women to engage, challenge and change the dominant global economic system which has fallen under greater scrutiny since it unraveled in 2008.
Two community leaders from the National Congress of Rural Women in the Philippines, through the support of Oxfam in the Philippines under its campaign GROW, attended the AWID Forum to exchange ideas with other women from peasant and feminist movements on developing resilience amid economic hardship, harder to overcome because of climate change impacts, food price crises, land grabs, among others.
One of them is Zenaida ‘Zeny’ Mansiliohan, named Outstanding Rural Woman in the Philippines in 2010 by the Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Commission on Women, and vice-president of the National Congress of Rural Women. Another, Rebecca ‘Becca’ Miranda heads a national federation of rural women, and a tireless champion of reproductive health, anti-violence against women and children (VAWC), sustainable agriculture, and women’s rights for 20 years.
Zeny is a farmer from Mindanao, southern Philippines, and an active community organizer, bringing poor women together to lobby for their participation in government decision-making. In 1985, she was imprisoned for fighting for land reform, which remains a tumultuous issue in the country. Becca helped enact the Women’s Development Code of Nueva Ecija, which is the rice granary of the Philippines.
Zeny and Becca shared their thoughts on the AWID Forum sessions and their experiences in Istanbul, their first overseas travel, through two blog entries: A Woman is a Mother- and More and Women at the Forefront of Change
Originally post: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/philippines/?p=1936