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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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!
This bulletin, on International Women's Day, is a call for direct and radical solidarity with those women who suffer, resist, organize and mobilize against the daily violence and abuse that industrial plantations cause.
From rapes, forced body searches and searches of private spaces, to the risk of losing their lives: this article calls on us not to be accomplices to the violence women living around tree plantations in Cameroon suffer.
A woman from the village of Mbonjo 1, Cameroon, which has witnessed the impact of industrial palm oil plantations and the constant presence of the military, calls for international solidarity and protection of right to life and freedom.
Plantations are increasingly surrounding and engulfing communities. Women must walk through company-occupied lands in order to seek their livelihoods. This, among other things, can cost them their lives.