This booklet is a collection of the wealth of insight and inspiration from rural women who participated in the travelling journal, an initiative from the Asian Rural Women’s Coalition (ARWC), Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP), Oxfam’s East Asia GROW Campaign, and our partner organisations. We are especially proud of the initiative as it provided the opportunity for rural women to share their thoughts and their lives as small food producers, workers, family members and women. The journal comes at a time when Asian rural women are more marginalised and food insecure as ever, facing the onslaught of corporate agriculture and neo-liberal policies which benefit a few corporations and countries, and elites. The impact of these policies has caused loss of livelihoods, destruction of the ecosystem and increased hunger and malnutrition. But women are confronting these challenges with strong determination for change and providing solutions that protect their rights and safeguard their livelihoods, environment and their communities. They continue to organise themselves and provide leadership roles in their communities and beyond. We are happy that the journal, the first of its kind, gave women a voice to share their lives and their struggles, albeit for a short period of time. Many have written that the journal initiative has been an enriching experience and increased their awareness and solidified their solidarity with other rural women and with communities. But the journey of the journal is far from over—we need now to share these stories of women as far as and to as many communities as possible to serve as an inspiration and even as a guide to strengthen themselves as women, as farmers and be part of a movement for change.
October 7, 2013
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