Land Commercialization, Gendered Agrarian Transformation and the Right to Food (DEMETER)

Completed in October 2022

A number of forces – including transnational land acquisitions, increased national investment in agriculture, migration patterns, environmental concerns and laws and policies at different levels – have come together in recent years to put commercial pressure on land in the South and encourage its commodification. This has accelerated processes of agrarian transition, affecting rural livelihoods and the right to food.

The outcomes of these processes differ for women and men. Evidence shows that food insecurity is gendered and that women and girls are more likely to suffer from undernourishment. There is further evidence that women do not gain as much as men from agricultural modernization or from large-scale industrial agriculture. Studies demonstrate, however, that household food security and child nutrition improve when women have greater control over income, land and decision-making.

The Project

DEMETER (Droits et Egalité pour une Meilleure Economie de la Terre) was a six-year project, launched in 2015 and funded by the Research for Development Programme (r4d) of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. It examined the relationship between the right to food and gender equality in ensuring food security in the context of land commercialization in two case-study countries, Cambodia and Ghana.

As a co-coordinator – along with the Gender Centre at the Geneva Graduate Institute,the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research at the University of Ghana and the Center for Development Oriented Research in Agriculture and Livelihood Systems in Cambodia – the Geneva Academy and its two researchers Dr Christophe Golay and Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni, was leading the human rights components of this research

NEWS

Groundnuts at the weekly market of Chiana, Kassena Nankana District - Ghana. News

Major Publication Concludes a Multi-Year Project on Agricultural Commercialisation, Gender Equality and the Right to Food

11 October 2022

The book analyses processes of agricultural commercialization and their impact on gender inequalities and the enjoyment of the human rights to food, land and social security in Cambodia and Ghana.

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Guinea - Rural Women's Cooperative News

Towards a Feminist Methodology for Implementing the Right to Food in Agrarian Communities

10 September 2021

In an article published in The Journal of Peasant Studies, our Senior Research Fellow Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni discusses – on the basis of research carried out at the Geneva Academy – the extent to which a feminist approach makes a difference to the realization of the rights to food, land, decent work, and social security.

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Woman in a market in Africa News

New Publication Details the Impact of Agricultural and Land Commercialization on Gender Equality and the Right to Food

3 November 2020

A new Research Brief summarizes a number of findings from a research partnership of practitioners and scholars from Cambodia, Ghana, and Switzerland.

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OUTPUT

Analysing the Processes of Agricultural Commercialization and Their Impact on Gender Inequalities and the Enjoyment of the Human Rights to Food

The publication of the book Agricultural Commercialisation, Gender Equality and the Right to Food. Insights from Cambodia and Ghana was the culmination of this research. Edited by our researchers Christophe Golay and Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni, the various chapters in the book analyse processes of agricultural commercialization and their impact on gender inequalities and the enjoyment of the human rights to food, land and social security in two countries, Cambodia and Ghana.

Chapters illustrate how commercialization processes are gendered, highlighting distinctive gender, ethnic and class dynamics in rural Ghana and Cambodia and the different outcomes these generate. They also show the ways in which food cultures are changing and the often-problematic impact of these changes on the safety and quality of food. Specific policies and legal norms are examined, with chapters addressing the development and implementation of frameworks on the right to food and land administration. Overall, the volume brings into relief multiple dimensions shaping the outcomes of processes of commercialization, including gender orders, food cultures, policy translation, national and sub-national policies, corporate investments and programmes, and formal and informal legal norms.

As well as this edited collection, the project has produced two short films, organised numerous policy dialogues at different levels of governance, developed four policy briefs, contributed to a Forum in the Journal of Peasant Studies as well as numerous other publications directed at policy-makers, civil society, states, and international organisations.

Publications

Cover page of the book

Agricultural Commercialization, Gender Equality and the Right to Food

September 2022

Christophe Golay, Joanna Bourke Martignoni, Christophe Gironde, Elisabeth Prügl, Dzodzi Tsikata

Taylor & Francis

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Cover page of the policy brief

Women Are Peasants Too: Gender Equality and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

December 2021

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Coventry University Policy Brief

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Cover page of the policy brief

Les femmes aussi sont des paysannes: l’égalité des sexes et la déclaration des nations unies sur les droits des paysans

December 2021

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Coventry University Policy Brief

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Cover page of the policy brief

المتعلّق بحقوق الفلّحين الجندرية وإعلان الأمم المتحّدة النساء فلّحاتٌ أيضًا: المساواة

December 2021

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Coventry University Policy Brief

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Cover page of the policy brief

Las mujeres también son campesinas: La igualdad de género y la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Campesinos

December 2021

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Coventry University Policy Brief

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Cover page of the journal

A Feminist Methodology for Implementing the Right to Food in Agrarian Communities: Reflections from Cambodia and Ghana

August 2021

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

The Journal of Peasant Studies

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Cover page of the Research Brief

Agricultural and Land Commercialization: Do they Foster Gender Equality and the Right to Food?

November 2020

DEMETER

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Cover page of the Transnational Legal Theory Journal

Engendering the Right to Food? International Human Rights Law, Food Security and the Rural Woman

January 2019

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Transnational Legal Theory Journal

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Cover of the Resarch Brief: Gender Equality and the Right to Food

Gender Equality and the Right to Food

January 2017

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Past Events

Agricultural Commercialisation, Gender Equality and the Right to Food. Insights from Cambodia and Ghana

14 October 2022, 13:00-14:00

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MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

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Our New Visiting Fellow: Steven L.B. Jensen

5 September 2022

A Senior Researcher at The Danish Institute for Human Rights and the author of the multiple prize-winning book The Making of International Human Rights, Steven L. B. Jensen just started as Visiting Fellow at the Geneva Academy.

Read more

Groundnuts at the weekly market of Chiana, Kassena Nankana District - Ghana. News

Major Publication Concludes a Multi-Year Project on Agricultural Commercialisation, Gender Equality and the Right to Food

11 October 2022

The book analyses processes of agricultural commercialization and their impact on gender inequalities and the enjoyment of the human rights to food, land and social security in Cambodia and Ghana.

Read more

Senegal, Ziguinchor area, Bignona Department, Kataba 1 municipality, Kouram village. A woman works in a vegetable garden as part of an economic security programme. Project

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This six-year project aimed at providing evidence-based knowledge for the formulation and promotion of innovative strategies and policy options that improve food sustainability.

Read more

Somalia, Bakool region, Hudur village. Woman selling products at market. Project

Land Commercialization, Gendered Agrarian Transformation and the Right to Food (DEMETER)

Completed in January 2015

This project examined the relationship between the right to food and gender equality in ensuring food security in the context of land commercialization in two case-study countries, Cambodia and Ghana.

Read more

Cover page of the book Publication

Agricultural Commercialization, Gender Equality and the Right to Food

published on September 2022

Christophe Golay, Joanna Bourke Martignoni, Christophe Gironde, Elisabeth Prügl, Dzodzi Tsikata

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

Implementação do Tratado Internacional sobre Recursos Fitogenéticos para a Alimentação e a Agricultura (TIRFAA) à luz da Declaração das Nações Unidas sobre os Direitos dos Camponeses e Outras Pessoas que Trabalham em Áreas Rurais (UNDROP)

published on September 2022

Christophe Golay, Karine Peschard, Olivier De Schutter, Hilal Elver, José Esquinas, Michael Fakhri

Read more