More than 100 indigenous women have been trained in leadership schools in at least 7 countries around the world, including Panama and El Salvador, within the framework of a United Nations (UN) initiative to support the goal of #HambreCero (No More Hunger).
On the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day of the Indigenous Peoples today, the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO), highlighted that along with the International Forum of Indigenous Women (FIMI), it has implemented the model of the Schools of Leadership of Indigenous Women on Human Rights and Food Security in countries such as India, the Philippines, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay.
"Today, the world has more than 100 indigenous women ready to lead the fight against hunger and malnutrition in different parts of the world," the world body said in a public statement released by its regional office, based in Panama.
This school has "the objective of empowering indigenous leaders and activists so they become advocates of human rights, food security and nutrition," FAO said, after explaining that there is a tendency to exclude women from decision-making in the autochthonous communities in spite of the primordial role they fulfill in them.
Indigenous women participate in multiple productive activities and contribute to the economic and social development of their communities. They are fishermen, farmers, shepherds and forest guardians, among many other roles, it argued.
In the courses of the Indigenous Women Leadership Schools on Human Rights and Food Security, participants learn about the rights of indigenous peoples and exchange experiences on the right to access to land and territory."
FAO recalled that as a result of the loss of their lands and territories, many indigenous peoples are forced to migrate to other areas in search of new employment options and livelihoods.
"In Latin America, about 40 percent of all indigenous peoples live in urban areas, in some countries 80 percent live in those regions, according to UN figures," the world body said.
In the case of Panama, some 26 indigenous women from different indigenous peoples participated in the Leadership School between 2016 and 2017, to strengthen their knowledge on food and nutrition, security and their leadership skills for the use of national and international human rights instruments, rights of indigenous peoples and women.
FAO added that at the end of the course, Panamanian indigenous leaders identified the main challenges affecting their communities in terms of food and nutrition security and each presented an advocacy plan.
"This year, in order to train a new generation of indigenous women leaders, FAO and FIMI coordinate the implementation of four regional Training Schools for Trainers in Human Rights and Food and Nutrition Security, in Africa, Asia, Mesoamerica and South America." according
to the official information.
The world body indicated that it is estimated that there are more than 185 million indigenous women in the world who belong to different regions and cultures, and "that most of them play a crucial role in guaranteeing the food security of their communities, and to protect the natural resources from which more than 7,000 million inhabitants of the world benefit".
The UN celebrates the International Day of the Indigenous Peoples on August 9 to commemorate the day of the first meeting every year, in 1982, of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Peoples. The theme of the day in 2018 focuses on the migration and movements of indigenous peoples.