Skip to content

Indigenous Women and Environmental Justice

Translate this text | Traducir este texto | Traduire ce texte:

Plenary Session at Global South Women’s Forum 2021

Recording Courtesy IWRAW

#GSWF 2021: 14 September 2021, Plenary Session: Indigenous Women’s Rights and Environmental Justice


It is nothing new for women to be disproportionately experiencing the effects of environmental degradation, be it biodiversity loss, climate change and as in recent year – the pandemic: on our bodies, on our children, on our territories, on our daily chores. Why? Precisely because we are women, pure and simple; because our basic rights continue to be denied us in different ways and to different degrees the world over, particularly in the Global South. We know that gender inequality limits not only women’s physical and economic mobility but also, in many places, their representation and opportunities, making us more vulnerable to growing environmental tensions and to climate situations that present multiple hazards, above all for the poorest women, the subordinate ones, including those who remain unrepresented in the area of public policy.

2020 was a year for nature, and CBD COP 15 new global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the CBD COP 15 (2022).

Women depend on and are direct users and stewards of natural resources, and in areas such as energy and food systems, women farm and produce most of the world’s food supply. Yet, they own less than 20% of the world’s land, lack equal rights to own land in more than 90 countries, and commonly face more barriers than men to access markets, capital, training, and technologies. Women also remain unrepresented in decision-making spheres at all levels.

To address some of these concerns and amplifying the voices of indigenous women from the Global South, join us to hear the dynamic indigenous women at the plenary session at the Global South Women’s Forum 2021 on 14 September.

Event Description

This plenary event was hosted by Women4Biodiveristy in collaboration with Pawanka Fund, Indigenous Women’s Network in Thailand (IWNT), Network of Indigenous Peoples Solomon Islands NIPS and FIMI. The collaborative plenary dialogue focused on what feminist action on biodiversity and climate justice looks like – showcasing each of their contributions and then converging around areas of synergies across various international biodiversity related foras and national actions. The event will build momentum and energy around collective actions of indigenous women in working collectively towards a transformative global agenda for women and girl’s and environmental justice.

Event Goals

  • Introduce and share knowledge of indigenous women in different biodiversity related global advocacy work. 
  • Demonstrate collective actions to amplify the roles and contributions of women and girls as agents of change
  • Share and strategize key recommendations for a human rights based approach to environmental governance


  1. Edna Kaptoyo, Pawanka Fund, Kenya
  2. Kanlaya Chularattakorn, Indigeous Women Network in Thailand (IWNT), Thailand
  3. Aydah Akao, Network of Indigenous Peoples iSolomon  (NIPS), Solomon Islands
  4. Sushila Kumari Thapa Magar, FIMI Nepal

Moderated by Mrinalini Rai, Women4Biodiversity

Film Screening of “Thengapalli” From Vikalp Sangam

Gunduribari is a tribal village nestled in the forests of the Nayagarh district of Odisha. Traditionally, the indigenous communities were the keepers of the forests and storehouses of conservation practices and knowledge systems. Over the centuries these communities began to be considered as “encroachers”. The Forest Rights Act (FRA), for the first time in 2006, recognizes the rights of tribal communities to govern and sustainably use their surrounding forest areas. 

“Thengapalli” is a story of how, harassed by the timber mafia for decades, the women in the village decide to take matters into their own hands to save their forests.

ABOUT Global South Women’s Forum 2021

Check LINK for information about the Form HERE

IRAW will be hosting this year’s Global South Women’s Forum (GSWF) virtually under the theme “Global South Feminist Visions of Environmental Justice”. The dates for GSWF 2021 are 12 – 16 September 2021.

This online event will be co-created for and with grassroots and marginalised communities fighting against climate change and environmental degradation. It will present communities with an opportunity to learn about and strategise for the future. We hope to celebrate community wins and resistance for climate and environmental justice over the years through stories, panels, workshops, and cultural and artistic renditions. The specific objectives of this virtual forum include:

  1. Centre community narratives to foster cross-movement building and solidarity for long-term, sustained action towards achieving our goal of a just, feminist and intersectional recovery;
  2. Strengthen the capacity and knowledge of participants on issues impacting diverse marginalised communities’ human rights concerning climate change and environmental degradation;
  3. Integrate the Global South Feminist Visions approach into steps towards building allyship with governments and other stakeholders for policy implementation and mechanism efficacy; and,
  4. Develop inclusive feminist advocacy strategies towards community-based policy responses and regional and global interventions to climate change and environmental degradation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our mailing list!

Be the first to receive our latest news and updates
Open chat
To join our mailing list please visit; and for any further inquiries please write to us at [email protected]