Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I Was a Stranger, Day 8: Dr. Vandana Shiva

Today on International Women's Day, I honor the work and voice of Dr. Vandana Shiva, who has dedicated her life to keeping seeds free and improving livelihoods through biodiversity and traditional organic farming methods that protect farmers’ rights. "Each of you can be a seed saver," Dr. Shiva says. "All of us must protect the earth. Each of us must be part of that change."

Yesterday I spoke with a coworker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who has started a seed swap movement in her office and wider community, so this timing is perfect.

Dr. Shiva is a wonder with a magnetic personality and offers a passionate call to action:
Supporting sustainable agriculture and farmers’ rights in India from GlobalGoalsUN on Vimeo.

Dr. Shiva founded Navdanya, a network of seed keepers and organic producers across 16 states in India. Navdanya provides training on sustainable agriculture and agroecological techniques, serving women, small farmers, and indigenous and local communities. The organization has set up 122 community seed banks and trained over 800,000 farmers. They also initiated the largest fair trade organic network in India.

In 1995, Shiva started the global movement Diverse Women for Diversity, which empowers women through education and support. “Seeds of Hope” encourages women’s role in food security. Naydanya's Grandmothers University celebrates and validates the wisdom of our grandmothers and works to transmit that knowledge and values to future generations.

Last year, Dr. Shiva won the MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity from the United Nations. She makes me feel proud to be a woman!

Read more of my "I Was a Stranger" entries here.

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