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Women Human Rights And Earth Defenders

/Women Human Rights And Earth Defenders

 

24 08, 2020

Women Are More At Risk Due To The Pandemic And Climate Crisis. These Feminists Are Working To Change That.

2020-09-24T19:33:05-04:00Tags: |

Women activists around the world are standing up. To challenge the ways in which the global pandemic and climate change exacerbate inequalities, five young women share their stories about the intersections of environmental and social justice. Journey with Betty Barkha (Fiji), Meera Ghani (Pakistan), Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim (Chad), Maggie H. Mapondera (Zimbabwe), and Majandra Rodriguez Acha (Peru) to learn about their work and the ways that they are engaging in their local communities.

13 08, 2020

The Women Battling Wildfires And Breaking Barriers In The American Wilderness

2020-09-09T19:33:02-04:00Tags: |

Hannah Gross is one of 10,000 female wild land firefighters in the United States. In this historically male-dominated field women often face implicit bias, sexism, and gatekeepers who didn’t make them welcome.  Various initiatives have been created to increase the number of women in fire, foster their leadership capabilities, and improve their operational confidence in the field. Thanks to some of these initiatives women are  present in every facet of the wildland fire world. Photo Credit: Alex Potter

10 07, 2020

Water Protectors Celebrate As Dakota Access Pipeline Ordered To Shut Down

2020-10-10T19:55:28-04:00Tags: |

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, an elder of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and founder of Sacred Stone Camp and Tara Houska, Ojibwe lawyer and founder of the Giniw Collective are interviewed by reporter Amy Goodman after the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is ordered to shut down by August 5, 2020. LaDonna Brave Bull Allard has opened her home in North Dakota to supporters from the beginning of the resistance in order to protect sacred sites, water sources, and the health of her community members. She has joined forces with Indigenous leaders and water protectors from around the world, many of whom have faced similar harms from extractive industry. Tara Houska asserts that the shutdown of this massive pipeline sends a critical message to the fossil fuel industry that these dangerous projects will not be tolerated and that a regenerative green economy is non-negotiable. Photo credit: Democracy Now! (video screenshot)

4 07, 2020

Climate Justice In The Time Of COVID-19: 5 Lessons From Women And Girls Leading The Fight

2020-09-08T22:13:16-04:00Tags: |

During the World Skull Forum, an intergenerational and intercultural panel of women climate activists hosted a webinar on the lessons we can learn during the COVID-19 crisis in order to pave the way for a green recovery and a just transition. Notwithstanding its drastic negative impacts, the current pandemic has also proven the capability of the global community for changing behaviour quickly and profoundly in the face of a serious crisis. Therefore, the panelists urged for the climate crisis to be taken just as seriously, underlining the importance of science and traditional knowledge, human behaviour and collaboration. Photo Credit: Skoll Foundation & Rockefeller Foundation

24 04, 2020

Meet Isabel Wisum

2020-04-24T15:51:56-04:00Tags: |

Isabel Wisum became the first woman to be elected Vice President of Achuar Nation of Ecuador (NAE) in 2016, and the first woman to have a leadership position in that community. She has supported the maternal and neonatal health of other women in the Amazon rainforest, empowering generations of women as rainforest guardians. A trained community health promoter, her leadership inspires other women of NAE to participate in the local decision-making process, helping to build resilience for her culture, land and people. Photo Credits: Pachamama

21 04, 2020

Advice From Activists: How COVID-19 Is Changing Climate Activism For Young Women

2020-09-24T19:24:02-04:00Tags: |

Young women and girls from the frontlines of climate change are taking climate action into their own hands amidst a global pandemic. Eight-year-old Licypriya Devi Kangujam, from New Delhi, India, founded The Child Movement and stands for climate action and legislative environmental protection in India. Alexandria Villaseñor and Leah Namugerwa are leaders with Fridays for Future, where they participate in the global School Strike 4 Climate. While sheltering at home, Villaseñor encourages that we should be consuming less and promoting a sharing economy. These young women and girl activists suggest how we can all be part of the climate movement and understand its links to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: Alexandria Villaseñor

10 04, 2019

Ensuring Women’s Land Rights In Nigeria Can Mitigate Effects Of Climate Change

2020-10-05T17:02:40-04:00Tags: |

Africans and women will be some of the main groups hit the hardest by climate change, and it is becoming increasingly more important to protect women’s land in Nigeria to help mitigate these effects. Women are responsible for 70% to 80% of all agricultural labor in Nigeria, but only 10 percent of land owners in Nigeria are women. This is partly due to the customary laws and property ownership, which makes it extremely hard for women to inherit land. With decreasing amounts of arable land coupled with continued population growth in Nigeria, 70% of Africans who rely on the land are at risk as climate change worsens. Those affected the most in are the women who perform the majority of agricultural labor and have more intimate relationships with the land. Empowering women to own the land where they work will improve Nigerian communities’ climate resiliency, creating a more sustainable relationship between humans and the environment. Photo credit: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

12 03, 2019

The Untold Story Of Women In The Zapatistas

2019-04-13T16:02:00-04:00Tags: |

Victoria Law is a journalist who spent 6 years with the Zapatista movement in Southern Mexico and published Compañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories. She gives an overview of the Zapatistas, the influence women have in the movement and the impact the movement has had on their lives. The Zapatistas began organizing in the 80s and declared war on the state of Mexico in 1994, on the exact day the NATO the free trade agreement began.  Since then the movement is renowned for the peaceful protests, indigenous organization, and their autonomy. Women have played a key role in the Zapatista communities accomplishing a drastic reduction of violence against women, the prohibition of alcohol (connected to abuse), the freedom to participate and lead in politics, and autonomy over their lives. Victoria sheds light to many things that can be learned from the organization of the Zapatistas and the key role that women continue to play in their liberation and in the liberation of their people. Photo Credit: Mr. Thelkan

3 03, 2019

For Women In Solar Energy, Progress And A Ways To Go

2020-10-07T00:39:34-04:00Tags: |

When Kristen Nicole, founder of Women in Solar Energy, penned an open letter calling out the hyper-masculine and ‘booth babe’ culture that portrayed women as sex objects, it sparked a revolution within the industry to start examining their women-specific policies and initiatives. The solar conference culture perpetuates objectification with abhorrent displays such as women in cages dressed in leather cat outfits. However, numerous programs aimed at addressing gender diversity and increasing women’s participation in the field have grown in response. SEIA’s Women Empowerment Initiative as well as Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy campaigns have contributed to the shift in the awareness around the need for diversity. Whilst more female workers make up the solar industry today, and there are more women speakers at conferences, there are still shortcomings in that women continue to earn less than men and face barriers in climbing up the career ladder. Women of colour are also disproportionately affected, and Erica Mackie, co-founder and CEO of GRID Alternatives, calls for the solar industry to not just be energy-centred but also justice-focussed, and to recognise the intersection between race and gender inequities. GRID’s Women in Solar Program aids women from diverse backgrounds and their She Shines retreat is aimed as a training and team-building exercise for women in the industry. Photo credit: Stefano Paltera, US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

28 02, 2019

Osprey Orielle Lake: Women Rising For The Earth

2020-04-24T16:36:50-04:00Tags: |

In this article, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) executive director Osprey Orielle Lake reflects on the broad and interwoven relationship between women and climate change. Citing activists such as Phyllis Young and Dr. Vandana Shiva, Lake connects the experience of each activist to global climate justice trends and movements. Lake also discusses the climate crisis as it is linked to systems of oppression and patterns of abuse against women and nature. While they are among the most vulnerable populations affected by climate chaos, women also offer the most hope for the future. Photo Credit: Emily Arasim/WECAN

5 02, 2019

Emily Satterwhite of Appalachians Against the Pipelines

2019-04-13T15:55:11-04:00Tags: |

Emily Satterwhite detained the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline for 14 hours by chaining herself to a backhoe. She is an active part of Appalachians Against Pipelines, defending the mountains and forests in West Virginia. In this interview, she discusses the role of lobbyists, the influence of corporate interest, and the struggle to keep fracking pipelines outside of the state. She refutes many myths regarding pipelines, emphasizing that Dominion Energy and it’s investors are profiting, but there is no benefit for West Virginians.Photo Credit: Thunderdomepolitics.com

18 10, 2018

Why A Farmworker’s Daughter Interrupted Governor Brown At The Global Climate Action Summit

2019-04-13T16:39:10-04:00Tags: |

At the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco California, Niria Alicia stood up and sang out in protest to Governor Jerry Brown’s refusal to take action against oil and gas companies. In this piece, Niria describes why she joined eight other young people in singing the Women’s Warrior Song as an act of resistance at the summit. Niria sites her own identity as an Indigenous woman, and daughter of a farmworker to poignantly explain the consequences of fossil fuel divestment. Photo credit: Niria Alicia

15 10, 2018

We, The Industrialized Ones, And The International Rights Of Nature

2018-12-19T17:26:25-05:00Tags: |

In 2008, Ecuador re-thought its democracy and included “Rights of Nature” in its constitution. Following in these footsteps, Shannon Biggs (United States), Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation, United States), Pella Thiel (Sweden), Pablo Solón (Bolivia) and Henny Freitas (Brazil) have also started the process to incorporate the Rights of Nature into national legal frameworks. Mari Margil, associate director of the U.S. Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, helped draft state-wide legislation, the first of its kind in the world. Pablo Solon, an environmental and social activist as well as former ambassador of the United Nations, acknowledges that nature helps humans be more humane. Similarly, Patricia Gualinga, former director of Sarayaku Kichwa Native People’s head of international relations, views nature as an actor in democracy rather as an outside subject. Photo Credit: Hugo Pavon/Universidad Andina

12 10, 2018

Colombian Women Are Putting Their Lives On The Line For The Earth

2020-09-02T23:29:09-04:00Tags: |

The murder of Earth Defenders is on the rise, especially throughout Latin America, according to Global Watch. Nevertheless, Colombian women like Jackeline Romero Epiayu, Briceida Lemos Rivera, Isabel Zuleta, and Nini Johana Cárdenas Rueda continuously fight for the land and their livelihoods. Through community organization and outreach, these women are bravely resisting the expansion of mining industries and  infrastructure projects that have devastating impacts on the environment and local communities. But with such force comes danger as these four women are facing harassment from Colombian authorities, anonymous threats to their lives and loved ones, and have even escaped attempted kidnappings and murders. Photo Credit: Ynske Boersman

12 10, 2018

Across Mozambique and Tanzania, Women Show Us How To Improve Communities And Protect Our Planet

2018-10-12T17:11:52-04:00Tags: |

Women across Mozambique and Tanzania are organizing their communities to improve  local livelihood through sustainability and the protection of natural resources. This inspirational blog by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) explores  the stories of various community leaders building long lasting projects. Like the story of Alima Chereira, who formed an agricultural association that teaches women climate-resilient farming practices. Or entrepreneur Fatima Apacur,  who helped her community form a savings association that uses the ancient practice of group savings and pooling wealth to help community members invest in the future. Photo Credit: WWF/ James Morgan

21 07, 2018

‘A Hitman Could Come And Kill Me’: The Fight For Indigenous Land Rights In Mexico

2020-10-10T20:29:50-04:00Tags: |

Isela Gonzalez, director of Alianza Sierra Madre, uses civic activism to fight for political change as a way to confront the vested economic interests of not only big corporations, but also narco-gangs and corrupt politicians, that violate indigenous land rights. In a country that is painted in violence, with assassinations as an answer to those who have a different vision than governmental or corporate agendas, standing up for environmental and social causes come with serious risks. Often facing threats to her life, which has resulted in armed guards, panic buttons and crisis training, Gonzalez is staunch in her battle to defend the Tarahumara’s rights. The three tribes who live among the pine-oak forests of the Sierra Madre have a worldview that sees themselves as part of the land and it was this, as well as their way of life, that inspired her to refocus the direction of Alianza Sierra Madre on indigenous rights as the frontline for environmental protection. Photo credit: Thom Pierce for The Guardian.

10 07, 2018

This Indigenous Tribe In Colombia Is Run Solely By Women

2018-11-25T12:20:04-05:00Tags: |

Neris Uriana, the first female chieftain of Wayuu tribe in La Guajira, was elected in 2015. She had tremendous support from her husband Jorge Uriana who thinks the future is female. Jorge was the previous community leader and decided women should participate in decision making and worked to dismantle machismo culture. After becoming chieftain, Neris has introduced sustainable agriculture methods to her tribe and collaborated with other communities to improve irrigation, crop cycles, and land use. Neris has successfully created many women leaders in her tribe, such as Pushaina, who is growing the crops with minimum water supply. Photo Credit: Lucy Sherriff/PRI

9 06, 2018

Our Plastic Pollution Crisis Is Too Big For Recycling To Fix

2020-10-02T21:29:34-04:00Tags: |

“Recycling alone will never stem the flow of plastics into our ocean. We must address the problem at the source” says Annie Leonard, creator of the Story of Stuff, which sheds a light on the ways we produce, use and dispose of the stuff in our lives. We’ve been told that the problem of plastic packaging can be solved through better individual action, but recycling alone is not enough. We need corporations to show accountability for what they have created, because they are well positioned with their profits and innovation labs to help move us beyond single-use plastics - says the author. Photo credit: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Image

8 06, 2018

Pipeline Protester Removed From Perch On Excavator

2019-01-21T19:26:30-05:00Tags: |

Emily Satterwhite, an Appalachian Studies Professor at Virginia Tech, blocked the Mountain Valley Pipeline crossing through Brush Mountains for 14 hours. She used a sleeping dragon to lock herself 20 feet off the ground to the excavator but was later lowered down by law enforcement. With this technique, her arms were inserted at each end of an elbow-shaped piece of pipe, and her hands chained together inside the pipe, making it difficult for her to be removed from the equipment. She chose to protest the pipeline because it threatens the nearby environment. Photo Credit: Heather Rousseu/The Roanake Times

7 06, 2018

The Resilience Of Thai Women Land And Environment Defenders

2019-03-04T01:17:35-05:00Tags: |

Members of the Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand (SPFT) -- a grassroots community of landless farmers -- are being confronted with harassment from military officials in the form of unlawful arrests, human rights abuses, and even murder in an attempt to displace the residing populations from the land for commercial use. Despite authoritarian rule, gender-based discrimination, and impending issues of safety, Thai women land and environment defenders are risking their lives in order to ensure the protection of human rights for not only themselves but for their small-scale farming communities as well. In May of 2018, women from the SPFT gathered in Bangkok demanding support from the United Nations offices and government agencies. By challenging unjust land rights and management policies and commanding reparations for human rights abuses, these women have pushed authorities to agree upon land titles for the community and to cease the wrongful prosecutions against villagers. Photo credit: Use Default

5 06, 2018

Agricultural Diversification: Empowering Women In Cambodia With ‘Wild Gardens’

2020-10-06T23:24:51-04:00Tags: |

A group of US and Cambodian Scholars from Pennsylvania State University have created the multidisciplinary project, “Women in Agriculture Network (WAgN): Cambodia” to teach Cambodian women farmers how to change their farming techniques for more beneficial outcomes. The project places particular value on native Cambodian plants that thrive throughout the year, even during wet- and dry-season food gaps.  WAgN also analyses Cambodian women’s roles in agriculture, and the notion that the “feminization” of agriculture does not coincide with an improved quality of life for Cambodian women.  Researchers at WAgN believe that their project has the potential to augment the societal status of Combodian women and improve their quality of life. Photo Credit: Penn State

3 06, 2018

Margaret Atwood: ‘If The Ocean Dies, So Do We’

2020-10-10T19:10:36-04:00Tags: |

In this BBC News report, we are introduced to the Under the Eye conference, held in London in March 2018. Guest speakers addressed environmental issues from a female perspective and included policy makers, scientists and artists, such as author Margaret Atwood, former Morocco's minister Hakima El Haité, and Green MP Caroline Lucas. They highlighted the close link between ocean pollution, climate change, poverty and women, and confirmed the disproportionate impact and adverse effects of natural disasters on women globally. Notwithstanding, they deplored the lack of female voices in high level decision making discussions on environmental and climate policy, despite women organising and resisting in the front line of natural disasters. Former UN diplomat Christiana Figures described the Paris agreement 2015 as a women-led collaborative venture and advocated that more women should be included in climate policy making negotiations, for they are the drivers and part of the solution. Photo Credit: Invisible Dust

21 05, 2018

Female Farmworkers Leading The #MeToo Fight For Workers Everywhere

2020-10-10T19:20:50-04:00Tags: |

Daughters of field workers are participating in a five day “Freedom Fast”, and joining the Time’s Up Wendy’s March in Manhattan. Their demonstration calls upon Wendy’s to sign onto the Fair Food Program which addresses many of the structural issues enabling sexual harassment in the workplace. The demonstration is taking place alongside the Time’s Up and #MeToo movement which has drawn global attention to the treatment of all women in the workforce. Women working in agriculture are strong voice in this movement as they report especially high rates of sexual assault in the workplace. So far the women’s efforts to suede Wendy’s have been unsuccessful. Photo Credit: Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)

18 05, 2018

The Erin Brockoviches Of Ecuador

2020-10-05T16:40:01-04:00Tags: |

In the Ecuadorian Amazon, women from different indigenous frontline-communities are leading the protests against further oil and mining concessions. As they see the wellbeing of the people and an intact environment as inextricably linked, they frame their struggle against resource exploitation as a human rights issue. In the areas affected by former oil drilling, the water and soil contamination from former oil wells pose a great health risk to the residents and deteriorate formerly fertile soil. Additionally, women living in towns where oil extraction occurs have been found to face a greater risk of gender-based violence. Photo credit: Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images

18 05, 2018

Women Leaders Come Together To Fight Climate Change

2019-04-13T16:10:40-04:00Tags: |

Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna hosted the Climate Leaders’ Summit, gathering fearless women from all over the world, including representatives from the public, private, academic, and civil society sectors working to create  solutions to the climate crisis. The summit’s main focus was on women’s leadership, working to ensure female participation in climate policymaking, environmental science, and engineering, and technological innovation. Photo Credit: UN Environment

14 05, 2018

How Cuba’s Women Farmer’s Kept Everyone Fed

2020-10-06T23:13:36-04:00Tags: |

Before 1989, Cuba depended on the Soviet Union for agricultural supplies to help maintain Cuban agriculture industries such as coffee, bananas, and sugar. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, Cuba found itself cut off from these agricultural supplies and in an economic crisis. Over the course of the next six years, the Cuban government encouraged alternative agricultural practices and ran workshops to teach residents various forms of food production methods. Former biology teacher Edith participated in one of these workshops. Afterwards, she founded the urban farm Linda Flor ten minutes away from Sancti Spíritus’ main square. Thanks to Edith’s scientific knowledge, perseverance, and passion for agriculture, Linda Flor flourished despite the small urban space. Now, students from around the world flock to Sancti Spíritus to tour Edith’s farm.   Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images

3 05, 2018

She Stands Up To Power. Now, She’s Afraid To Go Home

2018-08-24T16:59:01-04:00Tags: |

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations special rapporteur for the rights of indigenous people has fled her home in the Philippines due being falsely accused as a terrorist by Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte. Going home is now unsafe for Ms. Tauli-Corpuz due to her powerful stance on land rights for indigenous communities. Recently, she was included on a list of suspected terrorists by the Filipino Government. While the Filipino Government has insisted this designation is due to ties to banned leftist groups, her criticism of the military forced displacement of indigenous people in Mindanao, Philippines is likely the cause. Along with her vocal criticism of displacement, Ms. Tauli-Corpuz has also focused much of her energy on climate change and the inclusion of indigenous people in climate justice - a stance that has jolted the international forefront.  Photo Credit: Annie Ling for The New York Times

1 05, 2018

Climate Solutions: #LeadingWomen – Alaska & Global Warming: Climate Genocide

2019-02-09T19:48:09-05:00Tags: |

Faith Gemmill sees the effects of climate chaos firsthand, and has the solutions: she is executive director of Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL), a grassroots Indigenous environmental network fighting to protect Indigenous land and culture in Alaska. Gemmill, Pit River/Wintu and Neets’aiiGwish’in Athabascan, lives a land-based, subsistence lifestyle in an Alaskan village next to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 110 miles above the Arctic circle. Her community’s livelihood depends on the Porcupine Caribou Herd -- but oil companies directly target this sacred birthplace and nursery, and rising temperatures have already caused many climate refugees to relocate. REDOIL provides knowledge and resources to build resilience in this vulnerable region. Because Gemmill’s community lives in intimate interdependence with the “biological heart” of the Arctic Refuge, they have been fighting for human rights for decades, with no sign of stopping. Photo Credit: MrsGreensWorld

23 04, 2018

Goldman Environmental Prize: Top Awards Dominated By Women For First Time

2018-10-12T15:25:48-04:00Tags: |

Francia Márquez is among the female  earth defenders recognized by the Goldman Environmental Prize for their longstanding role in standing up to social and environmental injustices despite constant threats to their lives from powerful vested interests. A lifetime Afro-Colombian activist, law student, and single mother of two, Márquez led 80 women on a long, 10-day march that pressured the Colombian government to remove illegal miners polluting local rivers. In addition to Márquez, the female recipients were Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid from South Africa, Nguy Thi Khanh from Vietnam, LeeAnne Walters from the United States, and Claire Nouvian from France who have fought to protect vulnerable communities from polluting resources. Photo credit: Goldman Environmental Prize

19 04, 2018

This Young Environmental Activist Lives 500 Feet From A Drilling Site

2018-10-29T16:36:15-04:00Tags: |

Ashley Hernandez grew up in Wilmington in South Los Angeles, a primarily latino community and home to one of the largest oil fields in the United States. Hernandez tackles environmental justice issues by educating her community about pollution. Her first campaign, “Clean Up Green Up,” led the Los Angeles City Council to support a pollution prevention and reduction strategy. Her new campaign is calling on Governor Jerry Brown to make California the first oil-producing state to phase out existing oil and gas production and to transition to sustainable fuels that can provide new jobs for workers while also protecting public health of vulnerable communities.  Photo Credit: Melissa Lyttle for HuffPost

2 04, 2018

In Service Of Climate Justice

2020-10-02T21:33:39-04:00Tags: |

Dineen O’Rourke was moved to step into leadership in the climate justice movement after experiencing the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy in her community in Long Island, New York City in 2012. She has since become a powerful voice in the movement through her ongoing initiatives promoting community building, policy advocacy, direct actions, and storytelling. In 2017, O’Rourke and fellow climate justice advocate, Karina Gonzalez, co-led a delegation of 15 youth from different parts of the United States to attend the 23rd annual United Nations ‘Conference of the Parties’ climate negotiations. Despite the lack of political will exhibited by the United States during COP23, O’Rourke, Gonzalez, and a crowd of supporters protested false solutions presented by the fossil fuel industry to hold elected officials accountable. Photo credit: Dineen O'Rourke

30 03, 2018

Women Human Right Defender’s In Thailand

2020-09-02T23:48:59-04:00Tags: |

Even after 20 years of “UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders”, women human rights defenders (HRD) face systematic structural violence for raising awareness of political and environmental issues affecting their daily lives. To highlight the stories of these women,  the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok launched a project “Her Life, Her Diary: Side by Side WHRDs 2018 - Diary of Hope and Dreams" featuring 20 women defenders and their everyday struggle against social injustice. Photo Credit: Luke Duggleby

28 03, 2018

Female Farmers In The East Bay Cultivate A Sense Of Community

2020-09-02T22:42:25-04:00Tags: |

Kanchan Dawn Hunter of Spiral Gardens, Kelly Carlisle, founder of Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project, and Gail Myers, founder of Farms to Grow, are three women of colour who are challenging the dominant image of white, male farmers in the agricultural industry. Females farmers are underrepresented both in terms of ownership but also with respect to the power dynamics in the agricultural system. For them, the act of growing food is intrinsically political, and is a way of empowering marginalized communities to re-establish their food sovereignty and restore their connection with themselves and planet Earth. Spiral Gardens provides free educational programs taught at its community farm and hosts community work days. Acta Non Verba aims to empower young people through urban farming and conducts field trips and farm visits. Farms to Grow supports marginalized farmers around the country who are practicing sustainable agriculture. Other organizations such as MESA and Urban Tilth also work to support a sustainable and equitable food industry. Photo Credit: Andria Lo.

13 03, 2018

Ecuador’s Indigenous Women’s Restless Defense Of The Amazon “Living Forest”

2018-10-11T17:02:34-04:00Tags: |

On International Women’s Day, in Puyo, the capital of Pastaza, Ecuador’s biggest Amazonian province, over 350 Indigenous women from across Amazonia marched to pressure the Ecuadorian government for failing to meet commitments to Indigenous communities.  The march was followed by a 3-day gathering led by female Indigenous leaders from the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CPONFENAIE). With leaders from 7 Amazonian nations present (Andoa, Achuar, Kichua, Shuar, Shiwiar, Sapara and Waorani) attendees established the Assembly of Amazonian Women. During her long awaited speech Patricia Gualinga, the well-known Sarayaku leader, outlined her community’s proposal to protect the Amazon, Kawsak Sacha “Living Forest”. The proposal seeks to leave responsibility of forest protection to Indigenous communities who have a holistic relation to nature. Photo credit: Andrés Viera V. (March in Puyo on Women’s Day)

7 03, 2018

Guardians of the Amazon Rainforest – Women Rising Radio

2019-04-13T15:59:20-04:00Tags: |

Indigenous land and rights defenders, Gloria Ushigua of Ecuador and Aura Tegria of Colombia, share the heart moving victories and struggles of their people against mega extraction projects on their land, weaving in significant moments from their personal stories. Gloria Ushigua is President of Sapara Women’s Association in Ecuador. She was publicly mocked on television by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa after protests in 2001 and violently persecuted after organizing significant mobilizations against oil drilling in 2015. Aura Tegria is an indigenous U’wa lawyer on the Legal Counsel to the U’wa people of Colombia. The childhood memories of her people organizing to protect their land inspired to become the U’Wa defender she is today. After intense protests, campaigns and legal action in 2014 and 2015, they successfully kicked out Occidental Petroleum followed by the successful dismantling of the large Magallanes gas well from their land. Part of the U’Wa resistance has also been against the Catholic and Evangelical church that historically promoted cultural extermination through their boarding schools for indigenous children and other oppressive practices. Both women share the history of their people’s resistance since colonization, their personal stories linked to that resistance, the recent struggles of their people and the inspiring victories.Photo Credit: Amazon Watch

1 03, 2018

Honduran Women Fight For Rights With Their Lives

2018-07-13T16:18:17-04:00Tags: |

Across Honduras, woman activists are fighting for their rights, even in the face of physical and sexual violence, intimidation, incarceration, and sometimes death. Berta Cáceres, who was the co-founder of Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (COPINH) and fought tirelessly against the construction of the sacred Agua Zarca Dam, was gunned down on March 3, 2016. The government, run by President Juan Orlando Hernández, has rejected calls for an independent investigation of her murder. He has also been accused by Human Rights Watch of actively contributing to the oppression of women and girls in Honduras, and a UN report stated that the administration has paid “minimal attention to” gender empowerment. Cáceres’ death has sparked protests and political action nationally and internationally as women call for an end to gender-based violence. In Honduras, a woman is murdered every 16 hours, a number that increased by 263 per cent between 2005 and 2013. Tragically, 96 per cent of femicides reported are never solved. Still, even in the face of bleak statistics, women leaders in Honduras claim that some changes are being made, particularly as the daughters of Cáceres lead the continuation of her fight.  Photo Credit: Elizabeth McSheffrey (use photo of Berta posters in chapter 1)

16 02, 2018

Environmental Defender Guadalupe Campanur Tapia Murdered In Mexico

2018-03-02T13:07:51-05:00Tags: |

Purépecha activist Guadalupe Campanur Tapia was a courageous Indigenous woman human rights and Earth defender of Cherán, Michocán, Mexico. Her bravery and leadership helped mobilize local Indigenous communities to protect regional forests against illegal logging, and to claim independence against a corrupt government. However, her activism resulted in threats of violence from organized crime groups, and she was murdered in January 2018. Campanur is among an increasing number of defenders across the globe who have been killed in recent years, especially women. This article recounts Guadalupes death in the context of the 312 defenders across 27 countries who were murdered in 2017. Photo credit: Cultural Survival

15 02, 2018

Women Human Rights Defenders Demand The Stop Of The Duterte Reign Of Terror

2018-03-04T23:42:46-05:00Tags: |

Rodrigo Rody Roa Duterte , the 16th president of Philippines was warned by two alliances recently to stop attack on human and Earth rights defenders. Women human right defenders had been facing constant attack under the Presidency, and for fighting against injustice and terror  are often referred as “enemies of the state”. For fighting for their rights in the Cordillera, five women human right defenders, Rachel, Sarah, Sherry Mae, Joan, and Asia, faced false accusation and were threatened and harassed. Similarly, Sarah Abellon-Alikes, Rachel Mariano, Joanne Villanueva, and Sherry Mae Soledad were also falsely accused for homicide. Just like Donald Trump in the U.S., Duterte is known for his sexist behavior and rape jokes. Photo Credit: Cultural Survival

14 02, 2018

The Indigenous Climate Action Women Fighting For Mother Earth

2019-01-21T21:33:46-05:00Tags: |

Ta’ah is an elder indigenous to the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, or what has been known as Canada. With her team of six women, she has been working vigorously for climate justice and indigenous sovereignty with the award-winning organization Indigenous Climate Action (ICA). ICA empowers indigenous communities across Canada to strengthen the solutions that already exist in different nations, from tiny houses to building partnerships. Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, the organization’s executive director and founder, has seen her native homeland of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation struggle due to tar sands and other harmful extraction. Because their communities has experienced so much cultural and environmental devastation, they look to the next generation for hope. Indigenous activist Kanahus Manuel says that indigenous people already practice sustainability, and calls on everybody to cease the destruction of the environment. Photo Credit: Lauren Marina

14 02, 2018

Kenya’s ‘Erin Brockovich’ Defies Harassment To Bring Anti-Pollution Case To Courts

2018-03-02T14:04:12-05:00Tags: |

Anti-pollution activist Phyllis Omido is finally receiving her day in court, after years at the forefront of a landmark class action suit demanding compensation and clean-up from a lead-smelting factory accused of poisoning residents of Owino Uhuru. The founder of the Centre for Justice, Governance, and Environmental Action, Omido has already successfully forced the closure of the factory and is now seeking reparations for community members. A co-winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015, Omido is paving the way for other environmental litigations – even in the face of constant intimidation and threats. However, for Omido, this is just the start, as there are 17 other communities fighting for compensation for lead poisoning with whom she plans to organize. Picture Credit: Jonathan Watts

10 02, 2018

Women Scientists Describe Challenges Of Careers In Conservation

2020-09-02T22:11:04-04:00Tags: |

Camila Donatti, Director with Conservation International (CI) while acknowledging the division of labor among men and women, does feel that women and men need an equal amount of training to share knowledge about climate change. It is the best solution to engage them in good work while respecting their time limits. Shyla Raghav, an Indian American Climate expert with CI believes to find the best solutions for climate change we need to connect the women’s issues with climate change issues. Similarly Kame Westerman, a gender adviser with CI shared her personal experience of being discriminated against because of her gender. Margot Wood, associate scientist with CI shares the same experience while working on the field. Photo Credit: Benjamin Drummand

8 02, 2018

Our Relationships Keep Us Alive: Let’s Prioritize Them In 2018

2020-10-13T20:10:37-04:00Tags: |

This article as part of “Visions of 2018” explores the theme of transformation in activist movements. Written by Ejeris Dixon, a female grassroots organiser, we gain insight into how relationships can be improved within our groups, drawing on Dixon’s 15 years of experience. Call-out culture, neglect, secret maneuvers and a misalignment of values and actions can splinter and break groups. However, honesty, loyalty, integrity, accountability and commitment to personal transformation can repair relationships and rebuild trust. Essential transformations if social justice movements are to thrive in these oppressive times. Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout

3 02, 2018

Colombian Environmentalist Murdered Amid Rising Violence

2018-02-22T20:17:06-05:00Tags: |

Yolanda Maturana dedicated her life to defending Colombia’s wildlife and forests, and was an opponent of illegal mining and water contamination in the central and north western Colombian departments of Risaralda and Choco. Because of her activism she was brutally assassinated in her home, in the village of Santa Cecilia. Across the country, violence is escalating towards environmental activists, a trend congruent with global patterns, but also influenced by Colombia’s brutal and continuing war. Photo credit: @yolandamaturana

21 01, 2018

At Women’s Marches, A Spotlight On Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women

2018-07-12T17:13:08-04:00Tags: |

At 2018 Women’s March events across the United States, Indigenous women stood in visible contrast to the bright pink pussy hats worn by the other marchers. Indigenous women donned red in remembrance of the missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW) in the United States and Canada. The red color shows solidarity against discriminatory practices of the state, judicial system and the increasing violence against indigenous women. Sarafina Joe, a tribal citizen of the Diné (Navajo) Nation marched holding a red banner with the name of her sister, Nicole Joe on it, Nicole Joe, who died due to domestic violence. Devastatingly, her culprit was only charged with aggravated assault rather than murder. The number of such cases has been increasing among young Indigenous women, a tragedy still left unspoken by the masses and mainstream media. Photo Credit: Jenni Monet/ PBS

17 01, 2018

Can Poetry Turn The Tide On Climate Change?

2020-10-10T19:15:39-04:00Tags: |

Marshallese poet and activist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner uses the power of poetry to humanize the climate crisis faced by Pacific nations and demand swift global action. Her spoken word performance of Dear Matafele Peinem at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit was an impassioned call to action to ensure a safe, vibrant earth and rich cultural heritage for future generations. Her poem was met with acclaim and helped to convey the threat of rising sea levels and more frequent flooding to her home nation. She continues to advocate through her art as well as her work with Jo-Jikum, a nonprofit educating and empowering Marshallese youth on climate change. Photo Credit: The Adelaide Review

15 01, 2018

Rights Eroded: A Briefing On The Effects Of Closing Space On Women Human Rights Defenders

2018-03-06T18:10:24-05:00Tags: |

A new era of intensified government controls and restricted freedoms is hindering Human Rights Defenders from voicing their opinions. Constraints have been placed on feminist human rights and gender justice activists through government laws and restrictions. Berkeley Law and the Urgent Action Sister Fund adopt a human rights framework and gender approach to analyze the phenomenon of “closing space” and the challenges it poses for women human rights defenders and their innovative resistance strategies.

8 01, 2018

#Oursolutions: Conversation With Jacqui Patterson (NAACP)

2020-04-24T16:09:08-04:00Tags: |

Jacqui Patterson has been fighting for social justice for years, bringing this expertise to her work as the   Environmental and Climate Justice program director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Her international work started with HIV/AIDS advocacy, and she has uplifted stories of resilience from women across the U.S. and around the world. Patterson has spoken with South African women facing  increased sexual violence because of climate-induced drought and food insecurity, interviewed women across the U.S. impacted by climate change and fighting for justice, and volunteered with Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. Seeing a need for more gender and race analysis in climate change conversations, Patterson helped co-found Women of Color United, a global solidarity network. As an African-American woman, she brings a rigorous intersectional analysis of race, gender, class and other social identities into all climate justice work, fighting for a just transition rooted in deep democracy.

27 12, 2017

In Rural Indonesia, Women Spearhead The Fight To Protect Nature

2018-03-02T13:11:54-05:00Tags: |

Aleta Baun, Eva Susanti Hanafi Bande, and Rusmedia Lumban Gaol are just a few of the fierce grassroots leaders fighting against Indigenous cultural and environmental destruction in Indonesia’s rural areas. In July 2017, they gathered with some 50 defenders, most of them women, to share their stories and celebrate their courageous activism in the face of a socio-ecological crisis in their homeland. Timber, mining, palm oil, and other extractive industries have exhausted the country’s natural resources and defenders like Aleta, Eva, and Rusmedia have bravely opposed their efforts in the face of violence, internal persecution, and imprisonment. Photo credit: Lusia Arumingtyas/Mongabay-Indonesia

6 12, 2017

Women Land Defenders In Asia Need More Protection As Violence Rises – Rights Groups

2018-03-06T17:59:29-05:00Tags: |

Rights groups from across Asia and the international community are calling on authorities to do more to protect women land rights defenders. In many cases, defenders reported threats prior to their deaths, but the reports were either ignored or downplayed. In the Philippines, for example, Elisa Badayos and her male colleague were murdered in 2017 after investigating land rights violations. In Thailand and Cambodia, women are facing increased violence, while the matrilineal tradition in Papua New Guinea has been fractured following a decades-long conflict over an open pit mine. In India, defenders also face pressure from their family members and community. Rights groups, therefore, are demanding that these defenders be heard and recognized by the state. Photo credit: Reuters/Samrang Pring

6 12, 2017

Front Line Defenders Profiles Lottie Cunningham Wren

2018-03-06T17:28:27-05:00Tags: |

Lottie Cunningham Wren is a human rights defender and Founder of the Centre for Justice and Human Rights of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. Working with 124 remote communities, she helps Indigenous people exercise their legal rights and protect natural resources, and speaks out against the invasion of lands by private companies. Her role in the landmark Awas Tingni vs. Nicaragua case resulted in huge land rights victories for Indigenous peoples through the Americas. However, Cunningham Wren works in a precarious context. She received threatening letters in March 2017, was subjected to a kidnapping attempt in May 2015, and her colleagues now face intimidation. Photo credit: Front Line Defenders

2 12, 2017

The WISE Women Of Nigeria Sparking Change

2019-02-09T19:52:58-05:00Tags: |

Olanike Olubunmi Olugboji empowers other women in Nigeria to build sustainable, safe and equitable alternatives to dangerous ways of life. She is the founder and director of the Women Initiative for Sustainable Environment (WISE), formerly known as Environmental Management and Protection Network (EMPRONET), based in Kaduna, Nigeria. Holding degrees in urban and regional planning, Olugboji urges more women to be involved in the development and management of natural resources. WISE trains and educates women to be proactive against the mounting challenges posed by climate change and deforestation. For example, the Women’s Clean Cookstove Training and Entrepreneurship Program educates women about the health risks of woodstoves and gives them alternatives that are not only environmentally sustainable but financially viable as well. Nearly 10,000 women have participated in WISE programs already, and Olugboji hopes to open up a Women’s Eco Learning and Resource Center to reach even more women.  Photo Credit: Stephen Obodomechine

29 11, 2017

Jeanette Sequeira: Calling Out Violence Against Women Human Rights And Environmental Defenders

2018-03-06T18:21:52-05:00Tags: |

Jeanette Sequeira,  gender programme coordinator at the Global Forest Coalition, shares thoughts on the situation of global women who stand up for human rights and the environment, while facing violence and even murder. She shares the stories of frontline women leaders such as Lottie Cunningham, a lawyer from Nicaragua who defends Indigenous communities against illegal corporate and state led land-grabbing despite threats; and the Mapuche women in Chile who are engaged in a struggle to defend their land while facing criminalisation, militarization, and the risk of murder. Sequeira calls out state, non-state, paramilitary, private security and corporate actors who continue to silence activists and act within a culture of impunity.

26 11, 2017

Why Climate Change Is Creating A New Generation Of Child Brides

2018-07-13T16:53:03-04:00Tags: |

As climate change exasperates natural disasters such as droughts and floods, African farmers are finding difficulty maintaining economic stability, leading to an increase in the prevalence of child marriages in Malawi and Mozambique. While marriage under the age of 18 has been outlawed in both countries, the prevalence of child marriages has continued to persist in the face of increased poverty due to climate change. With shifting climate patterns affecting fishing and crop seasonality, many families are finding it difficult to feed each mouth, leading millions of young girls to be married off in response. And while the data detailing this intersection remains largely understudied, the occurrence of lost childhoods and educational opportunities continue to increase. Photo Credit: The Guardian

26 11, 2017

IM-Defensoras Statement During International Day of Women Human Rights

2017-12-26T15:57:00-05:00Tags: |

On the International Day of Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD), over 1,000 diverse members of Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IM -Defensoras) raised a collective voice to protect WHRDs and secure a dignified life for all. Between 2012 to 2016, at least 53 women defenders have been documented as killed, mostly by state actors, for their activism and voice. Violence and discrimination is used as a mechanism for social control, and women are standing to challenge the patriarchal mandate and demand from the state the protection they deserve. Photo credit: IM-Defensoras

24 11, 2017

The Resisters: Women Human Rights Defenders

2018-07-13T16:36:33-04:00Tags: |

To mark the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence and the International Day for Women Human Rights Defenders, Amnesty Canada draws attention to fierce women doing incredible work in unimaginably challenging circumstances. In this article, Amnesty explores the experiences of three powerful women living in prison or under threat of violence due to their activism. In Egypt, Hanan Badr el-Din, motivated by the disappearance of her husband in 2013, co-founded a group that investigates these injustices. However, she was arrested on false charges and sentenced to 5 years in prison. In Guatemala, Maya-K’iche human rights defender, Lolita Chavez, works to defend Indigenous rights against corporate abuses. After significant threats, she now lives under police protection. In Honduras, activists still live in fear, a year after Berta Cáceres was murdered. Attacks and threats of rape and harm continue to be directed towards their daughters. Amnesty Canada calls for action to protect the rights of these courageous women. Photo credit: CORINH

18 11, 2017

Pipeline Protester Speaks Out For First Time After Nearly Losing Her Arm

2018-07-16T14:18:44-04:00Tags: |

22 year old, Sophia Wilansky was standing outside the Dakota Access Pipeline encampment when she was flattened by a deafening explosion. This became the emblematic moment of violence at the Standing Rock protest was likely caused by a cop’s concussion grenade. The explosion ripped out her bone, muscles, nerves, and arteries in her left arm. Despite this, Wilansky vows to continue the fight against climate change and for the rights of indigenous people. Photo Credit: Annie Wermiel

16 11, 2017

Mind The Gap

2019-04-13T16:06:44-04:00Tags: |

Women are more vulnerable to climate change but are less represented at the U.N. Climate Negotiations.  The establishment of the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) at the Climate Negotiations has formalized the voice of women and gender equality. At COP23, in Bonn, Germany, the WGC pushed for a new gender action plan, to help increase female participation at the U.N, increase funding for women, and ensure climate solutions uphold the rights of women and indigenous peoples. Photo Credit:  Patrik Stollarz / Getty Images

7 11, 2017

17 Women Rights Defenders Killed Under Duterte

2017-12-07T17:54:22-05:00Tags: |

The association of women human rights defenders in the Philippines, Tanggol Bayi, has reported at least 17 women human rights defenders murdered by the administration of President Duterte, including Elisa Badayos, Cora Lina, Manobo Jessybel Sanchez, Leonila Pesadilla, and many more known and unknown. Leonila and her husband were working to stop mining in their ancestral lands. Many of those killed have included rural and Indigenous women, as well as environmental activists and defenders of peace and democracy. Sexual abuse and gendered violence has been frequent, amongst other human rights violations. Photo credit: Anne Marxze D Umil, Bulatlat

6 11, 2017

This Tribal Lady And Her Band Of Women Saved 50 Hectares Of Forests For 20 Years

2018-10-17T18:02:17-04:00Tags: |

Raksha Bandhan, a hindu festival celebrating the bond between brother and sister has inspired women in Muturkham, Jharkhand to protect their forests. In 1998, when Jamuna Tudu, also known as ‘Lady Tarzan’, noticed large areas of clearcut forest she began to speak out. She managed to organize Van Suraksha Samiti, a band of 25 women fortified with bows and arrows, bamboo sticks and spears to tackle the enemies of their forest. After driving out the mafia cutting down their forests, the women began tying the ‘knot of protection’, around the trees. Stemming from the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan, the knot symbolizes the love between brothers and sisters, where a sister ties a rakhi (holy thread) on the wrist of her brother to ward off evil and in turn, he vows to protect her until death. The rakhi around the trees symbolizes that these women will protect their trees until death. Photo Credit: YouTube

23 10, 2017

Minnesota ‘Water Walker’ Hopes To Save Waterways From Contamination

2019-01-21T19:32:28-05:00Tags: |

Sharon Day, executive director of Indigenous Peoples Task Force in Minneapolis and a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe, is a woman of substance: she has been walking many miles to bring people’s attention to the importance of water and how waterways have been polluted. She has walked along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, joined by a core team of five companions and anyone else who wants to join. Known as Nibi Walks (nibi is the Ojibwe word for water), the walks are prayers, not protests. She is deeply inspired by the grandmother of the Nibi Walks movement, Josephine Mandamin.  Photo Credit: Sharon Day

20 10, 2017

Women Farmers Are Leading Northern India From Subsistence To Regeneration

2020-09-02T22:54:54-04:00Tags: |

The increasing feminization of agriculture is an expanding market for women farmers in northern India. They are organizing themselves in self help groups and cooperatives such as Aarohi, Chirag and Mahila Umang (one of largest cooperatives in Uttrakhand) by helping each other to bear financial expenses. These cooperatives promote the traditional way of agriculture in nearby states like Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya along the restoring the hills by reforestation. In most of these states, men and young people have moved to urban areas. So, now the women who are left behind are creating balance between the rural economy and ecology, says Kalyan Paul, co-founder of Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation in Almora, Uttrakhand. Photo Credit: Esha Chhabra

17 10, 2017

Chipko: Vandana Shiva And The Original Tree Huggers

2018-10-17T17:17:22-04:00Tags: |

In this short excerpt from, ‘The Seeds of Vandana Shiva’, a documentary produced by Becket Films about Shiva’s remarkable journey, we see a glimpse into Shiva’s introduction into environmental activism. Her journey begins as a young Himalayan woman with a strong desire to spread the word about the Chipko Movement, a forest conservation movement where Indian women clung on to trees to protect them from being cut. This is one of the first ever recorded efforts by women to protect trees; thus demonstrating the long history of women as forest protectors. The full film is set to release soon.   Photo Credit: Becket Films

13 10, 2017

The Marikana Women’s Fight For Justice, Five Years On

2018-03-02T13:37:41-05:00Tags: |

Sikhala Sonke is a grassroots group of women social justice advocates, who began organizing in response to the tragic events of police violence at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, South Africa. Five years after the tragedy, with no compensation and no end to abuses, the women campaign ongoingly for recognition, safety, and justice in the face of intense, ongoing economic and physical exploitation of mine workers. The mining fields of Marikana offers little to no security at the workplace, poor wages and constant threats of rape and assault for women, in a country where every third South African woman fighting violence against them. Despite the all the challenges, Sikhala women stands in solidarity and support each other to expose injustice and create solutions for healthy and safe livelihoods. Photo Credit: Sikhala Sonke

30 09, 2017

Making Change Happen: Rethinking Protection, Power, And Movements

2017-10-31T15:51:45-04:00Tags: |

Around the world, the intensity of threats to women human rights defenders continues to escalate. This report from JASS Just Associates and JASS MesoAmerica offers new feminist and social movement perspectives to questions surrounding why, despite increased attention and legal protections, women human rights activists and the organizations and communities with which they work continue to face worsening persecution and dangers.

26 09, 2017

Mexican Presidential Candidate Maria De Jesus Patricia Martinez On Healing For Land And People

2017-10-26T16:10:53-04:00Tags: |

María de Jesús “Marichuy” Patricio Martínez, a Nahua Indigenous woman leader born in Tuxpan, Jalisco, has made history as Mexico’s first ever Indigenous woman presidential candidate for the 2018 elections. María is a traditional healer in her community, know for her lifetime of work to protect traditional ways, culture, language and the wellbeing of the Indigenous peoples of Mexico. She was prompted to run for office after witnessing the dangerous impact of industry, particularly mining, on the health and lives of her people and the land on which they depend. Photo credit: Duncan Tucker

19 09, 2017

Murder Of Celedonia Zalazar, Community Judge And Defender Of Indigenous Territory On Caribbean Coast

2017-10-21T23:53:05-04:00Tags: |

Celedonia Zalazar Point, a community judge and defender of indigenous land rights, was unjustly murdered due to escalating territorial disputes between Indigenous communities and imperialist settlers. After Bernicia Dixon Peranta, she is the second women’s human rights defender to be murdered on the Caribbean Coast, in addition to numerous deaths and displacements due to government inaction. Photo credit: Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders

8 09, 2017

Decolonize Justice Systems! An Interview With Dine’ Lawyer Michelle Cook

2020-09-08T21:23:05-04:00Tags: |

All over the world, Indigenous communities exist and function within two justice systems based on different worldviews: the European and the Indigenous. Human Rights Lawyer Michelle Cook (Diné), member of the Navajo Nation and born of the Honághááhnii clan, discusses the unequal relationship between these two frameworks and explains how the language of Human Rights can help challenge the colonial legal system which understates Indigenous' institutions. Photo Credit: Indigenous Rights Radio.

3 09, 2017

In Our Bones: Afrida Ngato

2017-09-03T21:28:50-04:00Tags: |

Afrida Erna Ngato is an indigenous activist and a “Sangaji Pagu” – a leader of the Pagu, a tribe living on their land since the 11th century. Previously, all leaders of the tribe were men but, Afrida stepped forward and became the first female leader. The mining in the Gulf of Kao caused water shortages, polluted rivers and bays, damaged ecosystems, and loss of biodiversity. Since the pipe burst, people began to fear eating fish, using the river water, and having trouble finding fish in the river. Access to clean water has reached crisis levels and this situation made Afrida take action. She protested for her community's rights along with 23 community members. All of them were arrested by the police but this made them even stronger. After this incident, Afrida widened her network by collaborating with neighboring tribes and now this makes it more difficult for mining companies to exploit them.

27 08, 2017

Maria Nailevu On Climate Justice For Fijian Women

2017-10-09T21:34:05-04:00Tags: |

Maria Nailevu recounts how her lived experience of climate change on the island of Taveuni has led to her current work on gender and climate change. She details her important work with feminist and community-led organization Diverse Voices & Action for Equality (DIVA). She recounts the work of the Women Defend the Commons campaign, which promotes social, economic and ecological justice in a women-led Suva-based organisation. Photo credit: Christine Irvine/Survival Media Agency

26 08, 2017

Recommendations To Protect WHRDs Confronting Extractive Industries

2017-10-26T23:28:57-04:00Tags: |

The Association for Women in Development (AWID and the Women Human Rights Defender International Coalition published a report entitled “Women Human Rights Defenders Confronting Extractive Industries” that lays out recommendations for practitioners to support this crucial work. They advocate for the recognition and support of women human rights defenders, an end to the criminalization of their activities, and empowerment and capacity-building for key leaders.

26 08, 2017

Defending People And Planet: Women Confronting Extractive Industries

2017-10-26T23:24:03-04:00Tags: |

This video introduces several women human rights defenders from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. They share their struggles for land and life, and speak to the risks and challenges they face in their activism. This video is released alongside a helpful practical guide entitled "Weaving Resistance Through Action: Strategies of Women Human Rights Defenders Confronting Extractive Industries” by the Association for Women in Development. Photo credit: AWID

26 08, 2017

Equality In Dissent

2017-08-26T12:53:11-04:00Tags: |

When the state government of Uttarakhand proposed construction of the Desvari dam, a 252-megawatt hydropower project on the Pinder River, residents of Chepdu village were worried: blasting through rock in an already flood-prone seismic zone would put the lives and livelihoods of 20,000 people at risk. While some men in the community obtained contract work from the construction company, making them partisan to the project, women like Bilma Joshi stood strong, organizing their community to demand their statutory rights and oppose a project that would all but destroy the Pinder River. Photo Credit: Matu Jan Sanghathan

18 08, 2017

Climate Justice Is Racial Justice Is Gender Justice

2020-09-08T21:50:16-04:00Tags: |

Though climate justice is not typically thought of as integral to civil rights or women’s rights, Jacqueline Patterson, director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, asks us to see their overlapping nature. Marginalized communities are often marginalized in many ways simultaneously: black populations are concentrated in poor neighborhoods, as is food insecurity, as are toxic waste facilities. While combatting climate change then, the concerns of marginalized communities need to be centered. Thus, access, affordability and viable livelihoods should be of high priority—as is consistent with a just transition. Photo Credit: Unknown

27 07, 2017

The Dangers Of Being A Defender Of The Environment In South Africa

2017-10-27T01:38:40-04:00Tags: |

Kristen Youens, an attorney specializing in environmental law and justice, examines the threats and intimidation faced by environmental activists in South Africa. Women activists, such as Lebogang Ngobeni from the Fuleni Reserve in Kwazulu-Natal and Nonhle Mbuthuma, spokesperson for the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC), are often targeted.. Mining laws make it easy for corporations and businesses to confiscate land and plunder the resources for their benefit. Activists are silenced using tactics such as strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP). Environmental defenders receive no protection from authorities, while the perpetrators walk free. Photo credit: Leon Swart

27 07, 2017

Berta Cáceres’s Daughter Speaks Out After Surviving Assassination Attempt In Honduras

2017-10-27T01:30:44-04:00Tags: |

There was an attempted attack on Bertita Zúñiga Cáceres, the daughter of renowned environmental activist Berta Cáceres, and the new leader of Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) on her way home from a community visit. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now speaks with Bertita Zúñiga Cáceres to get insight into the attack and the possible motives. She is also joined by US Representative Hank Johnson and Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle, a former COPINH member. Photo credit: Democracy Now!

27 07, 2017

Thailand’s Women Land Defenders Facing Violence

2017-10-27T00:50:17-04:00Tags: |

According to a joint report by the Observatory, Protection International and the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, rural Thai women are facing an increasing risk of violence and harassment. The report details how the military government of Thailand is failing to uphold civil rights of women human rights defenders who are at the forefront of fights for land and natural resource protection. Institutional discrimination renders women susceptible, and the government has failed to ensure their protection and access to justice. New laws are being introduced alongside existing laws to criminalize the efforts of women activists.

15 07, 2017

Women Climate Defenders – Video

2017-12-15T14:20:04-05:00Tags: |

Global women’s rights organization, MADRE, participated in the People’s Climate March in Washington D.C., bringing together Indigenous and frontline women from across the world to ensure their voices are heard, and to highlight the disproportionate impacts of climate change felt by women. Amongst the Women Climate Defenders who marched with MADRE were Winnie Kodi (Sudan), Lucy Mulenkei (Kenya), Martha Ntoipo (Tanzania), and Alina Saba (Nepal), alongside Yifat Susskind, MADRE’s executive director, and Diana Duarte, MADRE’s policy and communications director.

13 07, 2017

Thailand: Women Human Rights Defenders At Higher Risk Of Threats

2017-12-13T14:13:47-05:00Tags: |

Defending human rights is not a task for the faint hearted. It is dangerous task, especially if you are a woman human rights defender (WHRD) living in politicized societies such as Thailand. Thai human rights defenders such as Pranom Somwong , a member of Protection International, understand the risks associated with their jobs. Since the 2014 coup, women are more vulnerable to online intimidations and physical attacks. Women living in rural areas who are advocating for environmental rights and natural resources rights face a higher degree of danger. Montha Chukaew and Pranee Boonra were ruthlessly murdered  in cold blood and their bodies mutilated for their agricultural land rights advocacy. There is critical need for the provision of basic protections and justice, in line with the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Photo Credit: AP

27 06, 2017

Women Of The Cloud Forest Take On Mining Giants

2017-10-27T01:09:17-04:00Tags: |

The Intag cloud forest has been a hotspot for mining corporations for decades. A group of strong-willed women are taking a stance against these companies to protect the area’s biodiversity. Headed by Silvia Betancourt, The Coordination of Women, an umbrella group of 13 collectives, is fighting mining companies and ecological contamination. Marcia Ramirez, the leader of an anti-mining group, wants to prove that women too are capable of leading. She believes women dedicate more time to taking care of nature and are thus vulnerable to slight changes in the environment due to the nature of their daily errands. Photo credit: Naomi Renee Cohen

27 06, 2017

Gunmen Threaten Guatemalan Land And Territory Defender Aura Lolita Chávez

2017-11-01T23:26:16-04:00Tags: |

Members of the Council of Ki’che’ Peoples (CPK), including Aura Lolita Chávez Ixcaquic, identify unauthorized clear cutters in the protected forest area and take matters into their hand. They are confronted by a group of armed men who directly threaten Lolita and other members of the CPK, including children, causing them to flee in search of refuge. Photo credit: IM-Defensoras

27 06, 2017

Regional Gathering Of Defenders Of Land, Territory And Environment

2017-10-27T00:56:41-04:00Tags: |

Defenders of land, territory and environment, primarily women, from the Andean Region and the Latin American South gathered in Mexico City to scrutinize the context of violence in the region. Earth defenders in the region are a target of increasing violence, from both state and non-state actors, and imprisonment with little to no recognition of their rights. The culture of violence and discrimination against women and gender mandates reduce their authority and value of their work. A pact was made to ensure the protection of these women within their movements, to recognize and promote their work, to promote political formation for both genders and to foster their ownership of land. Photo credit: IM-Defensoras

19 06, 2017

People Power: Lessons From Standing Rock And Beyond

2017-10-09T21:48:25-04:00Tags: |

Tara Houska, an Ojibwe woman of the Couchiching First Nation who is a tribal attorney in Washington, D.C., and Native American Affairs Advisor to Bernie Sanders, discusses the biggest challenges and lessons from her time on the front line at Standing Rock and what’s next in the fight against corporate environmental destruction and systemic racism. She advocates engaging with local governance, taking direct action (such as protesting or participating in lawsuits) or indirect action (such as refusing to support corporations that fund destructive activities), and using social media to raise awareness of climate issues and protests. Photo credit: NITV

15 06, 2017

This Is My Land: The Indigenous Women Chiefs Protecting The Amazon

2017-10-14T16:34:20-04:00Tags: |

The Kayapo tribe in Brazil is shifting traditional gender roles with the emergence of three new female chiefs across its many communities within the Amazon rainforest. Tuire, one of the first female chiefs of the Kapran-krere village, is using her position to unite the fractured communities against outside threats. Recent legislation has reassigned land rights from the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest to the Ministry of Justice, suspected to allow for private interests to use the land for logging, mining, and cattle ranching. Tuire and other female chiefs are working to regain the rights to own and conserve their ancestral land. Photo credit: Pinar Yolacan

31 05, 2017

Inuit Mother Jailed After Protesting Dam At Muskrat Falls

2017-09-03T20:39:00-04:00Tags: |

Beatrice Hunter is many things at once: mother, grandmother and unapologetic land protector from the Indigenous Inuit community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Canada. Last fall, Hunter joined dozens of local land protectors in occupying the construction site of a highly controversial dam on Muskrat Falls, which holds immense cultural, economic and spiritual value for her people. Hunter now faces one criminal charge and two civil charges, and has defiantly refused to stay away from the Falls despite law enforcement's demands. In speaking out about the series of events, Hunter emphasizes that her people’s identities and livelihoods are deeply interconnected with the Falls, as well as the injustice of continued exploitation by settler-colonialism. Photo credit: Facebook

30 05, 2017

Creative Resistance: Meet The Women Challenging Extractivism And Patriarchy

2017-10-30T03:31:09-04:00Tags: |

Globally, the killings of environmental rights defenders is growing at an alarming rate. In 2015 alone, of the 156 killings investigated by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, 45% were those of land, indigenous and environmental rights. Inna Michaeli and Semanur Karaman, of the Association for Women in Development, write about the grassroots resistance of women like Havva Ana, a forest protector from Turkey. Bonita Meyersfeld, professor of law at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, argues that development projects are only successful if the economnic benefits are reinvested in communities. Photo credit: Gabby de Cicco

27 05, 2017

Remembering Jane Julia de Oliveira

2018-03-06T17:49:14-05:00Tags: |

AWID pay tribute to Jane Julia de Oliveira as part of their series that honours the memory of over 350 women human rights defenders from 80 different countries, highlighting these women in our collective memory so their struggle lives on. Jane Julia de Oliveira, from the Pará state of Brazil, was a land rights community leader, environmental defender, and president of Associaҫão dos Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras Rurais (Association of Rural Workers). On the 24th May 2017 she was shot dead by local police, along with a group of people on the farm where she worked. Photo credit: AWID

27 05, 2017

Women Heroes Of The Honduran Resistance

2017-10-27T01:06:56-04:00Tags: |

Standing up to dams, mines, logging and unsustainable agricultural practices on your land could cost you your life in Honduras. Honduras has been ranked as the world’s deadliest country for environmental activists. Berta Cáceres, founder of Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) was murdered there for her environmental activism. Melissa Cardoza has dedicated her book “13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance” to Cáceres and women of the Honduran Resistance in the aftermath of the June 2009 coup. Photo credit: Fernando Antonio

27 05, 2017

Rethinking Women Activists’ Safety At A Time Of Escalating Risk

2017-10-27T00:48:43-04:00Tags: |

An ever-increasing number of women activists are targeted due to their functions as advocates against all sorts of abuse. Because of that, the organization JASS and its partners have been trying to develop a different approach to guidelines for the safety of activists, one based on a feminist perspective. The Mesoamerican Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative has been informed by dialogues that take place in a plural environment, with the participation of organizations, activists, donors, the United Nations, etc. The idea is to provide insights and come to conclusions as to how to diminish the dangers these women are exposed to when confronting powerful interests. Photo credit: JASS Just Associates