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Indigenous Women Climate Defenders



In Kenya, Indigenous Peoples are on the frontlines of climate change. They face frequent, severe droughts that kill the crops and animal herds that communities depend on for survival. Women and girls are tasked with the heavy burden of securing water for their families. To make ends meet, many parents still pull their daughters out of school and marry them off for a dowry. 

Kenyan Women Carrying Water


MADRE partners with the Indigenous Information Network (IIN). With your support, we advance grassroots women's solutions to climate change and support communities hardest hit, but least responsible, for climate change. And we demand just climate action from the US, historically the world’s largest carbon emitter, and from international policymakers.

Partner for Social Change
  • We give women easy access to clean water. By installing water wells, we lessen the burden on women and girls responsible for hauling water. With our local partners, we also teach women to harvest and conserve rainwater.
  • We support a tree nursery that provides natural protection for water sources. When trees are cut down, erosion can contaminate water sources. Our tree nursery protects clean water, helps reforest the land and protects biodiversity. 
  • We partner with local activists who speak out for the rights of women and girls. Our partners speak out to say, "our daughters should have an education"— and teach members of their local communities about human rights. People listen, and more families are encouraged to keep their girls in school instead of marrying them off. 
Advocate for Human Rights
  • We lead human rights trainings with grassroots women. We build women’s understandings of national politics and international human rights as solutions to local problems. And we hone their skills to step forward as leaders. With our support, women are mobilizing to present their demands for better climate policies. 
  • We raise our voices in international climate negotiations. We are demanding that the US and other powerful nations build a climate change agenda that puts women’s expertise at the center, a vital step to create climate policies that will protect us all.
  • Mothers have the peace of mind to know their family's water is clean and safe, and children don't die from dirty drinking water.
  • Women and girls have time to earn income, go to school and be leaders in their communities—instead of searching for and hauling water.
  • Communities survive climate disaster, thanks to shared knowledge and the grassroots solutions created by women. 


Impact by the Numbers

MADRE and our local partners have installed 30 water tanks that provide 5,000 people with clean water.

"When we started IIN in 1999, I did not think we could be where we are today. The women have a voice. They recognize and talk on their rights. No matter how the environment has changed, they keep moving, adapting to the changes and coming up with innovations. It is now 2017. Eighteen years have passed, but to us, it's just like yesterday. We are still moving stronger together, motivating each other every minute, every day, every year. Thank you, MADRE." - Lucy Mulenkei, Executive Director of the Indigenous Information Network


Your Support in Action

Thanks to your support, MADRE continues to help Indigenous women farmers in Kenya adapt to climate change. Where we work in Kenya, women face persistent drought that threatens their families' survival. But with you by our side, we're bringing tools and training that help women combat the impacts of climate change and raise healthy families.


The Indigenous Information Network (IIN) is a women-led organization that connects Indigenous Peoples, sustains their communities and strengthens their demands for human rights.


Climate change is a global crisis that threatens the survival of humanity. While it affects us all, poor and rural women are hardest hit by food shortages, droughts, floods and disease linked to climate change. But they are more than victims.

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