Sophie Ogutu is a feminist human rights activist who works with the Kenyan chapter of the World March of Women, an international feminist movement fighting to eradicate the causes of gender violence and poverty.
The World March of Women also embraces food sovereignty as a fundamental human right, with a particular focus on women.
Women not only disproportionately bear the burden of hunger, they also at the foundation of the world’s food system. In sub-Saharan Africa, women produce up to 80 percent of all food, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization. At a global level, women produce more than half of all food grown.
For Sophie, linking up struggles across the globe is a powerful part of her work. “I think it is very important that we were part of this because we were able to look at how our comrades from other parts of the world are dealing with their struggles and are making change,” she said during the US Food Sovereignty Alliance Assembly in Bellingham, Washington, in October 2018, which she attended with another activists from the World March of Women Kenya.
“It’s a platform of strategy, it’s a platform of building our synergies. It’s a platform where we know that when we bring our minds together, we are facing a global struggle right now that we are all in,” she added.
Sophie shared that she was struck by the stories she heard at the assembly of so many local communities facing food security challenges. “Coming here in the USA and seeing a lot of people also hungry in a very fast-growing economy country breaks my heart, but it also gives me a lot of hope when I see so many people to discuss and address those issues,” she said. “Without hope we have nothing.”
She stressed that the alternatives that movements like the USFSA and the World March of Women strive to build are global in nature, calling for joining forces across borders. “We cannot do it in solitude,” she said. “For us, being here really strengthens and helps us to build this together.”