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Making the contributions of women to food security visible: workshop in Bolivia

11/07/2018 - 

 Within the framework of the Global Campaign for the Empowerment of Indigenous Women for Zero Hunger, the workshop "Visibilizing the contributions of indigenous women for food security through information technologies" was held in Cochabamba, Bolivia from July 2 to 4, 2018. This meeting was held under the auspices of the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO) and was facilitated by the News Agency of Indigenous and Afro-descendent Women (NOTIMIA).

The workshop was aimed at strengthening the capacities of indigenous women in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), specifically to raise awareness of the important contributions of indigenous women to food security. "This workshop was an opportunity to reflect together on the traditional knowledge and practices that indigenous women treasure, and how they can influence their recognition of their contribution to sustainable development and food security in their communities," explained Guadalupe Martínez, facilitator of the workshop and member of NOTIMIA.

The role of indigenous women as active agents of change and promoters of sustainable development is often ignored, due to factors such as negative gender stereotypes and discrimination. Under the slogan #MujeresIndigenas, Mujeres visibles, the global campaign launched by FAO, FIMI and NOTIMIA are joining forces to make visible indigenous women, their challenges, contributions and struggles.

Women being the key point for different actions that are directly related to their visibility and food, "One of the key issues that we have discussed in the workshop is the importance of indigenous women participating in decision-making processes that affect our lives and our communities, "informed Guadalupe Martínez. "Therefore, through this workshop we discussed how to take the campaign to our communities and use it as an advocacy framework that serves to advance the rights of indigenous women" says Carolina Santos, coordinator of the campaign in Latin America and the Caribbean. member of Notimia.

Twenty-one Quechua and Aymara women belonging to different organizations working for food security in Bolivia participated in the workshop. The participants, after learning more about issues such as human rights of women and indigenous peoples, gender, photography, use of social networks and food security, committed themselves to disseminate in their communities the #MujeresIndigenas, Mujeres campaign, as well as the fundamental role of women for the production and preparation of food in their communities. In this way, its intention is to show with dignity "the experience of women, how we work, what we eat, and what we do for food" said Aurora, one of the women who was part of the group of women who received the workshop.

For its part, Toribia, another of the participants in the meeting, stressed the importance of spreading the campaign "in the spaces we have in the collectives, meetings of councils, meetings and social networks." Similarly, Soraya, who works with 800 young people on the topic of healthy eating, explained the following: "We had not thought about the visibility of the role of women in food, I will invite the compañeras of Cochabamba to talk about food and the fundamental role of women". "The participants agreed to spread the campaign among their family and friends, starting from the example. One of the agreements between the group was the reduction of the use of plastic for the transport of food, using alternatives such as baskets of natural materials and paper bags, "said Carolina Santos.

In addition, during the days of the workshop, the photo exhibition "Indigenous women in Latin America and the Caribbean" was held, which seeks to highlight the role that indigenous women play in food security in their countries. The exhibition is composed of the 10 best photographs of the more than 90 received to participate in the contest, all the photographs were taken by indigenous women.

This exhibition can also be seen this year in different spaces; in August in the IX Diploma of empowerment of Indigenous Women leaders organized by the Alliance of Indigenous Women of Central America and Mexico with the National Autonomous University of Mexico that will take place in Mexico City. She will also be at the meeting of leaders for Peace, which will be held in Colombia. In September, she will be present in Costa Rica during the Meeting of Indigenous Women of the Alliance of Indigenous Women of Central America and Mexico and at the Terra Madre event, Salone del Gusto 2018, which will take place in Turin, Italy also in September.