New booklet on mountain women marks the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence


The Mountain Partnership Secretariat at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), together with the Feminist Hiking Collective – a non-profit organization and a member of the Mountain Partnership – launched a new publication today, Mountain women of the world – Shaping change for the common good, to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The booklet aims to highlight how the international community can support the collective power and autonomy of mountain women.

Women play a key role in environmental protection and social and economic development in mountain areas. They are often responsible for protecting and managing mountain resources and are the guardians of biodiversity and keepers of traditional knowledge. Supporting the empowerment of rural women is crucial to eradicating hunger and poverty. Yet, due to discriminatory social norms, rural women still face more barriers than men in terms of access to strategic resources and the opportunity for their voices to be listened to, which limits their potential as agents of change and resilience-builders.

"Ensuring that the voices of mountain women lead the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically its Sustainable Development Goal 5 on ensuring gender equality, is crucial to achieving sustainable mountain development and leaving no one behind," said Rosalaura Romeo, Coordinator of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat at FAO. The Mountain Partnership is the United Nations alliance dedicated to empowering mountain communities and promoting sustainable mountain development.

Building on the challenges and opportunities identified in the 2022 study Mountain women of the world: Challenges, resilience and collective power, the new booklet focuses on mountain women's own insights on resilience, as well as on their ideas for the pathway forward and actions that are needed to support their collective work. The publication draws on in-depth interviews with 313 mountain women in Argentina, Chile, Italy, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, the Plurinational State of Bolivia and the United Republic of Tanzania, and highlights their testimonies and stories of change, transformation and solidarity.

To interview mountain women across eight countries, the Feminist Hiking Collective teamed up with researchers from the Mountain Women of the World network, a transnational group of mountain women co-founded by Empowering Women of Nepal, the Feminist Hiking Collective, Kilimanjaro Women, las Cholitas Escaladoras de Bolivia, Mujeres a la Cumbre, Topchu Art Group and Women Who Hike-Africa.

"We are deeply proud of the collective work behind this booklet and honour all the mountain women from across different geographies and backgrounds that shared their experiences with the Mountain Women of the World network, which is at the heart of this work. This publication reminds us that when we support each other in building collective power and resilience and co-create transformative change with mountain women worldwide, we can create a more caring world that is centred on mountain protection and grounded in interdependence, for a world without discrimination or violence," commented Elena Ghizzo and Ria Ryan, Feminist Hiking Collective.

"This project transformed our lives while we worked as researchers. It is a reflection of the value of working together, of supporting and collaborating among different formal and non-formal collectives. It showed us that together we are stronger and that we can be a driving force to create real change in the mountain communities where we work," said Patricia Breuer Moreno, co-founder of Mujeres a la Cumbre in Chile and of the Mountain Women of the World network.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. This campaign, led by the UN Secretary-General and UN Women since 2008, aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world, calling for global action to increase awareness, promote advocacy and create opportunities for discussion on challenges and solutions.

Mountain women of the world – Shaping change for the common good is a contribution to the Five Years of Action for the Development of Mountain Regions 2023–2027.

Download the publication

Photo by ©Patricia Breuer Moreno

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