In partnership with you, MADRE works with women and girl leaders who create their vision of the future for their communities. We build on this foundation by bringing the voices and expertise of women and girls to the United Nations, International Criminal Court, and other influential forums to create lasting change for human rights and gender justice. We move beyond uplifting one community — or even one country — to winning new laws that will benefit millions of women and girls for generations to come. Far too often, women are left out of essential decision-making conversations in the legal and policy arena. MADRE partners are examining their human rights struggles in the context of international law — and winning significant accomplishments.
MADRE has been supporting spaces that uplift our partners at the United Nations for over 22 years. The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), among other international spaces, allows MADRE partners to gather and share the challenges they face and their solutions for climate and gender justice. In April, for the 10th consecutive year, MADRE co-hosted with Rosa-Luxemburg Stiftung-NYC a delegation of partners from Nepal, Panama, the Philippines, Sudan, and the US-Mexico border participated in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. During the forum, Indigenous women and girls inform and help shape global Indigenous rights agreements. This year’s theme looked at the critical role that Indigenous women and girls play in climate justice advocacy. MADRE’s in-person event, “Reflections on Climate Justice from Indigenous Feminist Peacebuilders Around the World,” co-hosted with Rosa-Luxemburg Stiftung-NYC, was a conversation about what climate justice looks like in action, what challenges we face to achieving climate justice, and how we can leverage and apply international tools for advancing climate justice.
In Kenya, long droughts, the rise of food insecurity, COVID-19, and inflation have increased land disputes as well as threats of ethnic tensions. MADRE partner, the Indigenous Information Network (IIN), positions Indigenous women leaders–who for years have mobilized their communities to mitigate the impact of climate change and advocate for peacebuilding to lower risks of conflict across communities and advance climate justice. Additionally, MADRE has advanced opportunities for women’s and girls’ leadership, autonomy, and economic empowerment that contribute to improved community development and social cohesion. As core to our programming, MADRE provided partners with funding, training, and skills-building opportunities to create and/or strengthen community-based, women-led, and democratically-led climate adaptation and mitigation programming. For example, in Kenya, MADRE supported Indigenous women’s and girls’ Indigenous-knowledge-based solutions for conserving biodiversity, promoting reforestation, harvesting rainwater, protecting local water sources from contamination, and fostering alternative livelihoods, including growing and selling seedlings and surplus vegetables. We also continued to resource seed exchanges between women of different Indigenous communities that have cultivated deep connections and mutual solidarity.
We have built a foundation of trust with partners because we don’t prescribe solutions, instead, we listen to their expertise and serve as a bridge to connect them with resources and forums where they can advocate for their own solutions. By amplifying the voices and solutions of women and girls on the frontlines of crisis and allowing them to be heard in the global policymaking arena, we are using the power of the law and advocacy to improve women’s human rights for generations to come. Thank you for helping us make this important work possible.