Women land and environmental rights defenders are at the forefront of the protection of human and environmental rights, in particular when it comes to defending their land and territories. The conference underlines and amplifies the gender differential impacts, threats and violence against women defenders. It emphasises the crucial role that women play in addressing the triple planetary crisis. It also presents existing opportunities, tools and campaigns to support them and their struggle for justice and accountability.
Speakers represent platforms, networks, institutions and alliances that advocate for a safe and enabling environment and support women defenders.
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The conference aims at discussing how international actors should support Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) and in particular women protecting their land and territories against corporate abuse, land grabbing and exploitation of resources. The impact of corporate and environmental abuses is particularly significant on women, but specific tools and campaigns exist to reinforce their voices and protect them.
This includes protection legislations and policies, protection networks, promoting collective and preventative protection, as well as international and EU laws and policies which should aim at holding perpetrators accountable and protecting defenders at risk (such as the UN binding treaty, EU and Member States Due Diligence Directives, and the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders).
Land and environmental defenders play a crucial role in protecting land, resources and territories, and their work is indispensable in global efforts to mitigate the triple planetary crisis. It is well known that environmental and land defenders face enormous risks and violence, from both international and national, State and non-State actors, including business corporations. However, the violence and threats faced by women defenders are often less visible, analysed and addressed.
The conference builds upon the experience of a diversity of actors; it includes videos testimonies and direct experience from women defenders and the organisations and networks that support them.
Speakers will present different actions and joint efforts of platforms, networks, institutions and alliances at national, regional and international level to advocate for a safe and enabling environment and to support women defenders in strengthening protection, fostering their agency and accessing justice.
Christine Mardirossian, Policy officer INTPA G1- Gender Equality,Human Rights and Democratic Governance
Mae Ocampo, Executive director at Protection International
Ana Zbona, Member of ALLIED advocacy working group and steering committee
Grace Oloo, Vice-chair of the Land & Environment Defenders network (Kenya)
Tawonga Chihana, AED Initiative Coordinator at Natural Justice (Kenya)