Title of document: Stories From The Field - Women working toward a non-toxic environment
Author: Ilang Ilang Quijano et al. on behalf of Towards a Non-toxic Southeast Asia
Date of publication: 2016
Geographical focus: Cambodge, China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam
Summary: The often unseen but disastrous consequences of chemical-intensive food and agricultural production are felt most by half of the world’s food producers and rural population: women. On the average, women make up about 43 percent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Women are involved in all stages of food production—everything from seed collection, land preparation, fertilizer and pesticides application, weeding, harvesting and storage, food processing, and livestock rearing. In addition, they are also responsible for most household and child-rearing activities.
This booklet contains a collection of stories of 25 women from five countries who are involved in an inspiring, ongoing campaign to eliminate use of chemical pesticides and promote agroecology in the Mekong Region. These women are part of the programme Towards a Non-toxic SouthEast Asia, a programme aiming to reduce health and environmental risks from chemicals by monitoring, regulating and managing agricultural, industrial and consumer chemicals. Partners in this initiative are the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) and The Field Alliance (TFA).
The stories in this booklet highlight how women were influenced by the work of these dedicated organizations and how various activities and support resulted in mobilization of communities to start working for improved livelihoods, through reduction of pesticides use and shift to agro-ecology.