Today is the UN International Day of Rural Women
Following the UN Women, this year theme is about “Rural women and girls building climate resilience”, reminds the world that a sustainable future is not possible without rural women and girls. Rural women and girls play a significant role in food security, water collecting and unpaid domestic care work. However, women and girls are the first in suffering the consequences of lack of water and food due to climate crisis. Addressing gender equality is key for a sustainable development.
This is the case of the Wayuu women; Mama Tierra works with. These indigenous women live in the northernmost tip of South America, in a desertic area called La Guajira, located in both Colombia and Venezuela. In order to reach them from the next town, the Mama Tierra teams travels with a jeep around 8 to 12 hours across the Caribbean desert. The woman is the strongest link in many indigenous societies, but this is particularly true in the Wayuu culture, as they have a matrilineal kinship structure. Mama Tierra opens trade routes for the Wayuu, taking their crafts to the global market. As a result, a community of 833 people is indirectly benefiting from the work of Mama Tierra.
Even though women and girls’ significant contributions to their communities worldwide, they face gender inequality in many societies. Due to the fact, that women are more likely to die during climate-related disasters and face greater constraints in accessing natural resources like land and water. Moreover, climate change worsens existing inequalities, potentially leaving rural women and girls further behind. Consequently, one of the most effective ways to achieve progress on the threats posed by climate change is addressing gender inequality.
Mama Tierra achieves gender equality in La Guajira by empowering women with fair paid work. Indigenous peoples should be able to earn a living in their own cultural context rather than working in mines, factories or households in the city, not to mention smuggling. That is why Mama Tierra defeats poverty, gender inequality and hunger with sustainable fashion. Mama Tierra offers the women existence-saving wages and financial independence. The focus is on women because they ensure the well-being of the family, ensuring its income and educating the children.