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Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism, and the Fight to Feed the World

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Weaving together the narratives of female farmers from across three continents, Women Who Dig offers a critical look at how women are responding to and, increasingly, rising up against, the injustices of the global food system. Beautifully written with spectacular photos, it examines gender roles, access to land, domestic violence, maternal health, political and economic m Weaving together the narratives of female farmers from across three continents, Women Who Dig offers a critical look at how women are responding to and, increasingly, rising up against, the injustices of the global food system. Beautifully written with spectacular photos, it examines gender roles, access to land, domestic violence, maternal health, political and economic marginalization, and a rapidly changing climate. It also shows the power of collective action. With women from Guatemala, Nicaragua, the United States, Canada, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, and Cuba included, it explores the ways women are responding to, as both individuals and in groups, the barriers they face in providing the world a healthy diet.


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Weaving together the narratives of female farmers from across three continents, Women Who Dig offers a critical look at how women are responding to and, increasingly, rising up against, the injustices of the global food system. Beautifully written with spectacular photos, it examines gender roles, access to land, domestic violence, maternal health, political and economic m Weaving together the narratives of female farmers from across three continents, Women Who Dig offers a critical look at how women are responding to and, increasingly, rising up against, the injustices of the global food system. Beautifully written with spectacular photos, it examines gender roles, access to land, domestic violence, maternal health, political and economic marginalization, and a rapidly changing climate. It also shows the power of collective action. With women from Guatemala, Nicaragua, the United States, Canada, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, and Cuba included, it explores the ways women are responding to, as both individuals and in groups, the barriers they face in providing the world a healthy diet.

30 review for Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism, and the Fight to Feed the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    A great look at women in agriculture around the world. Well researched and well written, with intriguing photographs.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This book should be read by lots and lots of people. For 3 years Trina Moyles traveled, met and interviewed 143 women around the world in dozens of rural communities and a Congolese refugee camp. Here is the last paragraph in her introduction: ""What does it mean to be a farmer?" I asked the women and they responded in more than 10 different languages. Some women laughed, and some of them wept. And others weren't sure where to begin because no one had bothered to ask them the question before." I va This book should be read by lots and lots of people. For 3 years Trina Moyles traveled, met and interviewed 143 women around the world in dozens of rural communities and a Congolese refugee camp. Here is the last paragraph in her introduction: ""What does it mean to be a farmer?" I asked the women and they responded in more than 10 different languages. Some women laughed, and some of them wept. And others weren't sure where to begin because no one had bothered to ask them the question before." I vaguely remember a Fringe play from many years ago about killing the women first. Apparently in times past, when invading armies entered a village, they killed the women first because they were the most fierce when it came to protecting their families. Well the women that Trina Moyles met are trying to protect their families, their way of life and in many cases, their nations. In Nicaragua, farmers are being pressured to sell their land for use in the production of palm oil, a cash crop, instead of producing food crops. In Canada, there was an old belief - if you want to farm, marry a farmer. In Guatemala, Goldcorp (a Canadian company) is buying land for mining. And yes, they do have the cooperation of the government. The valuable farm land is being lost to demand for minerals. And there are so many instances outlined in this book of the little people losing valuable food production land to the want/need for cash crop production for export. Keep in mind that much of the money from the export of the cash crops does not make it back to the locals. Reading this book was frustrating for me and made me sad that I am so unaware of what is going on in the world and my own country. Reading this book has brought up so many questions in my mind that now I will be searching out information about some of the issues raised. For that, Trina Moyles I sincerely thank you. Please read this book. I've checked and the Edmonton Public Library has it on order. However it is available at Audrey's and probably at Chapters.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Véro

    Amazing, thought provoking book written by a kind, passionate and great writer. It's empowering to read about the stories of these incredible women. I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about how farming as an essential part of the every day lives of people and how our world's various cultures are farming and how they react to incredible change. I definitely put this book in my top favorites of 2019. I will read it again and look for more from this writer. Amazing, thought provoking book written by a kind, passionate and great writer. It's empowering to read about the stories of these incredible women. I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about how farming as an essential part of the every day lives of people and how our world's various cultures are farming and how they react to incredible change. I definitely put this book in my top favorites of 2019. I will read it again and look for more from this writer.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dan Liberfarb

    This was a well-written and informative book concerning a vital and often overlooked subject. The author, Trina Moyles, paints a vivid picture of the difficulties and achievements that female agricultural workers have encountered in recent memory. The book contains insight, testimonials, and imagery of an area that greatly impacts the lives of billions of consumers around the globe.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy Hermary

    Women Who Dig is an amazing book and the stories contained in it's pages have touched my soul and squeezed tears from my eyes, sometimes in sorrow and sometimes in joy. My grandmother and my mother gardened in southern Alberta to feed me and my sisters. I recognize the pain of a sore back from weeding vegetables, the sweetness of fresh raspberries right off the bush, and the joy of seeing the first green shoots push through a garden patch where the soil contains far too much clay. These stories Women Who Dig is an amazing book and the stories contained in it's pages have touched my soul and squeezed tears from my eyes, sometimes in sorrow and sometimes in joy. My grandmother and my mother gardened in southern Alberta to feed me and my sisters. I recognize the pain of a sore back from weeding vegetables, the sweetness of fresh raspberries right off the bush, and the joy of seeing the first green shoots push through a garden patch where the soil contains far too much clay. These stories come from women in Uganda, Guatemala, Nicaragua, United States, Canada, India, The New Congo, and Cuba. While each country has their own challenges, the motivation for all the women was to feed their families, to survive. Some words from a Cuban female farmer, artist, and mother: "Agriculture is also a form of artistic expression," insisted Odalys. "They call it agri-culture because it makes us feel human. We're not practicing agriculture only for commercial purposes. We plant to feel happiness and feel joy for what is growing on the land. Growing food is a form of art. It's the supreme art. Nature paints what no painter can achieve." (p. 235) My own small urban backyard is full of trees, bushes, and plants. I think some vegetables need to grow in the in between spaces. February is a good month to plan.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    In Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism, and the Fight to Feed the World, Trina Moyles uncovers stories of farming as an act of resistance. For three years, she travelled across three continents and eight countries. At every stop, from Salt Spring Island to Delhi, candid conversations awaited her. I wasn't prepared for such a gutting read, about the infuriating barriers women face in accessing education, healthcare, property ownership, and a justice system that protects them from violence. I wasn't p In Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism, and the Fight to Feed the World, Trina Moyles uncovers stories of farming as an act of resistance. For three years, she travelled across three continents and eight countries. At every stop, from Salt Spring Island to Delhi, candid conversations awaited her. I wasn't prepared for such a gutting read, about the infuriating barriers women face in accessing education, healthcare, property ownership, and a justice system that protects them from violence. I wasn't prepared to read about the unthinkable, dehumanizing gendered violence they experience. But the individuals Moyles spoke with are living examples of what women can achieve when they're able to organize with each other, when they have sovereignty over their personhood. They're a testament to the power of sharing knowledge in the spirit of cooperation. Their work as farmers has proven foundational to rebuilding societies ravaged by natural disasters and war. Many of these women have lost their homes, their loved ones, or both. They face the unfathomable task of starting over on unfamiliar soil, with unfamiliar crops. Amazingly, these women are still capable of finding joy in the act of farming. With such resilience, their resolve to fight for the right to improve their lives will never need to fallow.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Women Who Dig is a great introduction to farming around the world, policies that positively and (unfortunately, most of the time) negatively affect small farmers who are trying to provide sustenance for their families and communities. The author is an experienced journalist who knows how to balance the words of the women around the world with her knowledge of the world political farming economy. The book is focused on women farmers and illustrates clearly how gender disparity in farming is linked Women Who Dig is a great introduction to farming around the world, policies that positively and (unfortunately, most of the time) negatively affect small farmers who are trying to provide sustenance for their families and communities. The author is an experienced journalist who knows how to balance the words of the women around the world with her knowledge of the world political farming economy. The book is focused on women farmers and illustrates clearly how gender disparity in farming is linked to policy—whether that be policy derived from the culture of the country or large scale policies that affect the world food market. Through the many farmers she visited, we see that small farmers are not rewarded for their work even though they are better for their communities than the large, corporate farms in the western countries, and how this affects the crops native to their lands. Understanding a breakdown of who is doing the work and how it is being done is a great introduction to learning about sustainable farming practices

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anu Sethi

    Inspirational n eye opening book. Trina Moyles has really worked hard to collect stories across globe which echoes the same voice. Food is d essence of life, man's greed will take him no where. In d end, it is d basic necessities which matter. Beautifully linked to how women has ever been d preserver of food and she is d one who feeds d world. To add my words: Dat is y we call 'Mother' Earth! Would recommend for people who are passionate for sustainable food production, farmer rights, and care f Inspirational n eye opening book. Trina Moyles has really worked hard to collect stories across globe which echoes the same voice. Food is d essence of life, man's greed will take him no where. In d end, it is d basic necessities which matter. Beautifully linked to how women has ever been d preserver of food and she is d one who feeds d world. To add my words: Dat is y we call 'Mother' Earth! Would recommend for people who are passionate for sustainable food production, farmer rights, and care for mother earth!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    A really interesting look at women in agriculture from Uganda, Guatemala, Nicaragua, United States, Canada, India, The New Congo, and Cuba. No matter where the women were from, they showed such strength and determination to make things better for themselves, their families, and their communities. It was beautiful to get to know them personally.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Audrey Powell

    Not only well written and beautifully detailed, but important work - these stories need to be told. I found it inspiring, not only as a feminist and writer but as a novice gardener (who daydreams of a simpler life working the land from time to time). Congratulations - and I cannot wait to read your next book!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Manpreet Dhillon

    An eye opener The stories in this book provide such perspective and make the realize the realities of this world. There is a sense of hope that can be felt throughout each story. Hope the future is what they make it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This book was good, but the farther I read in the book, the more political undertones were mentioned. I did like to read about the hardships many women faced while farming, but this book about farming had too many 'hints' throughout. Not a book for everyone, but I learned from reading it. This book was good, but the farther I read in the book, the more political undertones were mentioned. I did like to read about the hardships many women faced while farming, but this book about farming had too many 'hints' throughout. Not a book for everyone, but I learned from reading it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christina Adams

    Fantastically written. Eye-opening look into agriculture and how it shapes this world; from the lone mother trying to keep her family fed, to the effects of global crops. Moyles writes exquisitely and you feel like you are in the homes and gardens of the women whom’s story she tells.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda June

    A beautifully, informative read- highly recommend !

  15. 5 out of 5

    Coatesj

    The diversity of stories was engaging. The grit of the women farmers detailed in this book was inspiring. Very accessible read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Olenka

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

  19. 4 out of 5

    Celine

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lori-Anne H

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Summerfield

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    While reading Women Who Dig, I was reminded of Rebecca Solnit's Paradise Built In Hell. When Cuba stopped receiving food supplies from The Soviet Union in 1989,the country faced a dramatic food crisis. The Cuban government responded by funding community gardens. The gardens still thrive and feed the nation. Trina Moyles writes eloquent, and unflinchingly, about the hardships, the struggles, the trauma, and the successes of these women farmers from countries around the world. Rarely, does she over While reading Women Who Dig, I was reminded of Rebecca Solnit's Paradise Built In Hell. When Cuba stopped receiving food supplies from The Soviet Union in 1989,the country faced a dramatic food crisis. The Cuban government responded by funding community gardens. The gardens still thrive and feed the nation. Trina Moyles writes eloquent, and unflinchingly, about the hardships, the struggles, the trauma, and the successes of these women farmers from countries around the world. Rarely, does she overstate her reports. The book covers women's struggle to own land ( in Uganda and India), the struggle against encroachment by multinationals (in Guatemala and Nicaragua) the quest for fair labor practices for immigrant workers (in the USA), and raises the very real specter of violence that threatens these women should they deviate from proscribed norms. As difficult as it is to read the horrors of the existing, often prevalent, inequities and injustices, Women Who Dig is a hopeful book. These are strong women, reading their stories gives me hope for humanity.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dee

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gale

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christine Sopko

  28. 5 out of 5

    Davina Simms

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sonja Seher

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Price

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