Demeter team organizes a side event entitled “Agricultural Commercialisation, the Right to Food and Gender Equality: Exploring Linkages” at the UN Commission on the Status of Women NGO Forum.

This year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women has as its priority theme “Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls.” In this context, our panel will explore the gendered impacts of the increasing commercialisation of agriculture and land. Using a series of insights drawn from recent research carried out in rural Cambodia and Ghana, the aim of the discussion is to examine the accessibility and availability of food and land, paid and unpaid forms of labour, gender-based violence against women and shifting food cultures.

Date and place

13 March 2018, 12:30-1:45pm
Blue room, 4 W 43rd St, New York

Panel speakers

  • Dzodzi Tsikata, University of Ghana
  • Seng Suon, Multi Angles, Cambodia
  • Joanna Bourke-Martignoni, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Geneva
  • Fenneke Reysoo, The Graduate Institute, Geneva


  1. By linking the right to food with rural women, international human rights law contributes to the development and reinforcement of stereotypes concerning rural women as vulnerable victims of hunger and/or as virtuous agents of change as food producers for their families and communities. (Joanna Bourke-Martignoni, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights)
  2. Policies and laws to address rural food insecurity need to more effectively consider the ways in which agricultural and land commercialization increase the ‘double burden’ of economic and caring work for women. (Suon Seng, Multiangles, Cambodia)
  1. Agricultural and land commercialization challenge existing expectations around gender roles and generate stress which are manifest in an increase in gender-based violence against rural women. (Fenneke Reysoo, Gender Centre Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies)
  2. We can successfully address food insecurity arising from land and agricultural commercialization if we recognize the pivotal role of food cultures that privilege men’s nutrition to the detriment of the nutrition needs of women and children. (Dzodzi Tsikata, University of Ghana)


  • Shahra Razavi, UN Women
  • Denisse Cordova, FIAN International

Download the flyer

Photo credit: Tara Bate