AMIHAN Federation of Peasant Women – Northern Mindanao (AMIHAN)
In the Philippines, the struggle of peasant farmers to protect their lands from government and corporate takeover is ongoing and increasingly volatile. In the province of Bukidnon in June of 2011, farmers began protesting outside Central Mindanao University against a land distribution scheme that would forcefully evict over 800 peasant families from their lands. Security guards hired by the university unexpectedly opened fire, beat, and seriously wounded a number of protestors. AMIHAN Federation of Peasant Women – Northern Mindanao (AMIHAN) recognized the opportunity to bring international attention to the situation at several upcoming meetings of human rights defenders and requested funds to support its attendance. It plans to share the struggles of farmers for their rights and expose the human rights violations occurring in the Philippines in order to mobilize the international community’s support for the farmers and their communities under siege. It also plans to distribute advocacy materials on peasant farmers’ land rights.
AMIHAN is a coalition of forty-three community-based organizations of peasant women in Northern Mindanao that aims to empower peasant women through alternative development policies and strategies, and works to protect women’s rights and advocate equal opportunity and justice for all.
With UAF funds, AMIHAN attended the People's Coalition on Food Sovereignty and successfully garnered support from the Coalition as it has planned to run a parallel campaign for the farmers. AMIHAN also had success in reaching out to the International League of People's Struggle and the International Women's Alliance, both of whom passed resolutions related to the issue of land rights and food security. AMIHAN also published a book and distributed posters and postcards on the results of the International Fact-Finding Mission to organizations internationally, including the UN. As a result, international advocacy work is being done on the plight of the farmers; and AMIHAN points out that as a result of international pressure the University announced that it would postpone the action that would have resulted in the eviction of farmers from their lands for six months. AMIHAN notes that: ""The grant has been very instrumental in internationalizing the long-standing agrarian unrest in Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines besetting women and men farmers of the Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus (BTL) communities after the June 14, 2011 violent dispersal of their protest camp-outs. The international advocacy we have mounted have gathered broadest global support for the issue of the farmers.