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Human rights and food security programme for indigenous women in Bolivia concluded with the realization of advocacy plans

17/12/2015 - 

The 25 indigenous women leaders who participated in the Human Rights, Food Security and Nutrition capacity-building programme in Bolivia, developed jointly by FAO and the International Forum of Indigenous Women (FIMI), finalized the face-to-face phase of the trainings having made advocacy plans and well as enabled a space for socialization of ideas among the participants.   

In this phase, the knowledge acquired during the virtual period was consolidated, as well as the dialogue and exchange of experiences and challenges from both individual and collective perspectives regarding the fields of human rights, climate change and food security.  This capacity-building experience was also developed in India in November and it will be also implemented in Peru and the Philippines in 2016. 

Cecilia Ramirez, representative of FIMI, highlighted that the first phase of the capacity-building process was a challenge for all participants because access and use of new technologies has always been an obstacle in boosting the leadership of indigenous women, but now they all succeeded in achieving positive results. “Now in this second part we realise that we as women are the disseminators of significant knowledge”.

Bernardina Laura, from a community in Tiwanaku in the department of La Paz, asserted: ”I feel strengthened and informed because now I know the laws and I feel we are supported to be able to make efficient advocacy in our municipalities and with our authorities. Plus, this way we can also generate income”, this latter aspect is paramount for Bernardina because currently youth are migrating from rural areas to the cities due to lack of livelihood means. 

Likewise, Clementina Garnica, from Ckochas municipality in the department of Potosí, commented that this kind of spaces are very productive to strengthen the capacities of its participants and to promote advocacy initiatives in support of the rights of indigenous and peasant women. “My advocacy plan is based in food sovereignty, we want the wheat from my region to be produced and processed to make cookies for school breakfast as a way to promote healthy and nutritious consumption of our local products”. 

Vanesa Viera, from the department of Pando, expressed her satisfaction about the workshop: thanks to having indigenous women from all parts of Bolivia she could learn from their experiences. “The information was local, national and international, that is why I could learn how to develop advocacy processes with different authorities, being able to apply this knowledge to the organization I belong to.” Her advocacy plan is related with achieving technical capacity building for youth, thus, mitigating the rural-urban migration process, “the idea is to manage the administration, the mayor’s office and the University of Pando to support the capacity-building processes in order to avoid youth migration. In addition, this plan gives youth the opportunity to become service providers and technical assistants in the communities.”


FAO and the International Forum of Indigenous Women (FIMI) are implementing from May 2015 through the Global Leadership School for Indigenous Women the National Programmes on Human Rights, Food Security and Nutrition in Bolivia, Peru, India and Filipinas focused on Indigenous Women and human rights activists. 

The Programme comprises three phases: the first corresponds to the facilitation of online learning through a virtual platform; the second is an intensive and face-to-face seminar in the capital city of each country. Finally during the third phase, the Advocacy Plans created are monitored and executed by the participants. 

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