Women and Tree Monocultures
Sexual violence and loss of access to land and water are specific impacts that women face when large-scale tree plantations take over community land. Once established, these industrial plantations interfere with food production and women's ability to move freely on their own land. That is why in many places affected by industrial tree plantations, women take the lead in organizing their communities and defending their territories.
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Oil palm company Socfin has meant oppression for affected communities. Yet, women have to confront another patriarchic system. Paramount Chiefs are the custodian of the land according to customary law, which often give men decision-making and ownership power over land.
Patriarchal oppression is inseparable from the industrial plantation model, and it is at the base of how companies generate profits. Companies target women, including due to their fundamental role in community life.
We said it in Mundemba, Cameroon, we reiterated it in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, we re-affirm this in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire: the abuse against women in and around industrial oil palm plantations must STOP!