By WECAN International
|Dear Friends and Allies,|
We celebrate International Women's Day with you and with women around the world. We ask that you join us today in honoring the women defenders of the land - who put their bodies on the line everyday for human rights, forests, rivers, wildlife, traditional territories, the global climate, and the lives and futures of us all.
In the context of recent reports, which document the murder of 312 defenders in 2017 - the majority tied to land protection - we stand in solidarity and raise the highest call of attention to the remarkable, courageous, and dedicated frontline women who continue their vital work despite violence, threats and assaults.
We can all provide support by amplifying their stories. We must all defend the defenders.
Explore our special International Women's Day newsletter for Women Earth Defenders media and analysis to read and share. To donate in support of WECAN International's ongoing work, please click here.
[READ] A Red Flag on International Women's Day:
Women Land and Rights Defenders Facing Violence
As part of a special week of media highlighting the stories and urgent demands of women defenders - the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network spoke with women experts from Global Witness and Frontline Defenders, to learn more about how women in particular are impacted within the context of the dangerous acceleration of violence against global Earth and rights defenders.
"The increased exposure that comes with activism pits these women against deep-seated social and cultural norms that expect them to play a passive role in overwhelmingly patriarchal societies, and all of the risks that come with challenging those norms.
Female land or environmental defenders who we have met have become victims of smear campaigns that attempt to ruin their reputation as 'good women' in an effort to ostracize them from their communities and discredit their activism."
- Alice Harrison, Senior Campaigner for Global Witness
Solidarity With Indigenous Women Forest Defenders Rising Against Extractivism In Ecuador
|Two years ago today, WECAN International was honored to join our allies on the ground in Ecuador, to march in solidarity with Indigenous women leaders from across the Ecuadorian Amazon, gathered to oppose a new oil contract signed between the Ecuadorian government and a Chinese oil company without the consent of affected Indigenous communities.|
TODAY, hundreds of women from seven nationalities, Kichwa, Sápara, Shiwiar, Shuar, Achuar, Andoa, and Waorani, and their allies, united once again in the city of Puyo on International Women's Day, to respond to additional oil auctions announced by Ecuadorian officials last week.
Their strong, grassroots organizing, led by CONFENIAE and community associations, including Sarayakyu's Kuriñampi and the Sapara's Ashiñawaka, comes even despite countless obstacles, and recent attacks against prominent women leaders.
Among their diverse calls to action are the defense of their Indigenous territories, the rights of women, the rights of nature, health, culture, the protection of traditional practices and resources, and addressing the impacts of climate change.
WECAN International ally Belen Paez (Fundación Pachamama) reported from the march for us on WECAN's Facebook Live today!
Click here to WATCH and hear more from women leaders on-the-ground in Ecuador right now, marching for the Earth and their rights!
WECAN International Featured On ABC Good Morning America On International Women's Day
|Along with three other women leaders, Osprey Orielle Lake, Founder and Executive Director of WECAN International, was highlighted by ABC Good Morning America today, as part of International Women's Day.|
READ and share - 'Four Brave Women Fighting For Equality On International Women's Day'
Women Human Rights And Land Defenders -
Stories To Uplift And Share
In celebration of International Women's Day - all week this week, the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network has been using social media to amplify the stories and demands of women land defenders across the globe.
We encourage you to share these stories today and everyday, as a part of global efforts to expose injustice and make it clear that allies around the world are watching, and will not stand for continued abuses.
For the Earth and All Generations,
Osprey Orielle Lake
Founder and Executive Director
Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International