Choose a news category:

Climate Change and Women's Human Rights: The MADRE Model

Posted on: Friday, December 4, 2009

Keywords: Economic Justice, Environmental Justice, Climate Change, UN, Water Rights

Evidence is mounting that sustainable agriculture is our best hope for feeding a growing population and restoring the stability of the climate. Worldwide, the vast majority of those who farm sustainably are women. Securing the full range of their human rights—as women, as workers, and as rural and Indigenous Peoples has always been at the heart of MADRE’s work. Now we know that these women’s rights are key to empowering them to enact solutions on which we all depend.

Here’s a look at some of the ways that MADRE is supporting smallholder women farmers and addressing the inter-related crises of climate change, world hunger and abuses of women’s rights.

Replacing fossil-fuel based fertilizers and toxic pesticides with organic farming

In Sudan, MADRE provides women farmers with organic seeds and training in sustainable farming. The women learn techniques such as crop diversity and crop rotation to enhance soil quality, control pests and cool the planet by attracting carbon back into the soil. Read more »

Improving ways to conserve and manage water

In Kenya, MADRE helped build a water purification and storage system managed by the local community. The project protects their water source from erosion and contamination and enables the community to store fresh water through the dry season. Read more »

Strengthening community self-reliance through seed banks and farmers’ associations

In Nicaragua, MADRE helped create a seed bank for a group of women farmers. The women are now able to cultivate, save and share local, organic seeds from one growing season to the next. The program emphasizes sustainable land use methodologies, safeguards traditional Indigenous knowledge of natural resource management and strengthens women’s economic self-sufficiency and participation in public life. Read more »

Empowering women to shape policies that affect them and their communities

In Panama, MADRE partners with Indigenous Kuna women to equip rural women to represent their own issues in policymaking. They are working to ensure that national conservation programs respect Indigenous rights and that economic development is pursued in ways that maintain a healthy and viable world for future generations. Read more »

Demanding access to land, seeds, water, credit and other inputs that farmers need

In Sudan, government discrimination against women farmers threatens their capacity to feed their communities and assert their rights within the family. Through the MADRE-supported Women Farmers’ Union, women have joined forces and won access to government programs that provide tools, seeds and other necessary supplies. The women are now organizing for broader rights, expanding their organic farming and building a foundation for a life free from hunger. Read more »

Combating the privatization and monopolization of seeds by corporations

In Panama, MADRE’s program upholds farmers’ right to save and exchange seeds. Through workshops, Kuna women learn to recover traditional Indigenous knowledge of biodiversity and secure agricultural seeds in danger of extinction by reviving traditional stocks and distributing them to local farmers. The women cultivate local, organic seeds, creating healthier, more sustainable alternatives to genetically modified seeds promoted by multi-national biotech companies in the area. Read more »

Demanding accountability from world leaders

MADRE is at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen demanding that world leaders recognize the important role of women farmers in combating climate change. We’re calling for new policies that end the monopolization of climate talks by profit-driven demands, support sustainable and organic agriculture and advance human rights.



« Back to "Press Room" Next Article »

Article Tools
Increase Font Decrease Font Reset Font Print Page Email Page


"Press Room" Home November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001


Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444

To sign up to receive MADRE media alerts, click here.

Bring MADRE to You

MADRE & Our Partners Make News