C21st Participation In International Indigenous Women Forum Training


Ms Della Ilenre, the focal point on  indigenous issues for Centre for 21st century (C21st) participated in the 2016 training on Human Rights and International advocacy conducted by International Indigenous women Forum.  It was a six weeks course divided into two-phase. The first phase was online while the second phase was a face to face meeting which took place in New York.

During the six weeks training Ms Ilenre had the opportunity to learn about the framework of international policy as it relates to International law. She also had  the opportunity to study intensively the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), the ILO Convention No 169, Convention On the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and many other international Instruments.

The face to face training which took place at the  Columbia University, New York from 2-13 May 2016 was a big eye-opener, it opened up a platform of indigenous women working  in solidarity for  measurable impacts on the ground. The struggle for the enthronement  and enjoyment of rights of indigenous Peoples and particularly of indigenous women requires strong connections to the global indigenous movement.

The training gives a robust information on how local struggles can influence global struggles and vice versa.  It stimulates the identification of peculiar national issues which have hitherto been neglected and re-directs and sharpens the vision for deeper, result oriented lobbying and advocacy processes.

During the training session in New York, Ms Della participated in the United Nations Permanent forum on Indigenous Issues, a big forum which opened up the space to  meet indigenous rights activists, learn, share experiences and imbibe best practices which is needed to organize and  develop better strategy to meet the target of C21st with respect to indigenous issues.

The training undoubtedly , has set the tone for the take off of c21st indigenous rights advocacy in Nigeria. The support , boldness and capacity instilled in Ms  Della is already  been put into action. She is currently working   with policy makers at the House of Assembly in Nigeria, discussing  strategies on how to bring the voices of indigenous groups and minorities into policy processes , building the capacity of policy makers and indigenous Peoples

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Indigenous Women’s Adaptation Solutions to Climate Change: The case of Kenya


A side event organized at the climate Generations Area at the Women and Gender Constituency stand on 3rd  December 2015 by MADRE New York and Indigenous Information Network


Indigenous Information Network Cythia Wechabe and Edna Kaptoyo and  MADRE’s Natalia Caruso shared success stories of indigenous women adaptation initiatives in adapting to climate change at community level. They shared stories on how climate change has impacted the indigenous women in Kenya, affecting their access to freshwater, food  etc and how they are choosing not to wait but respond to the changes with actions at community level that seeks to enhance access to clean energy and  freshwater. They stressed the importance of supporting indigenous women to  define their priorities and needs in tacking climate change.   It is important to support them to build leadership capacity and self organization.

Cynthia Wechabe speaking at the event 

Currently, Kenya the country where the adaptation projects are been implemented   is working on an energy policy, but policy is not enough if its going to focus on mega projects on energy rather than decentralized energy system which is what is needed by indigenous women.

Edna Kaptoyo sharing adaptation stories

Local government need capacity building as well to understand climate change and women issues so they can be able to have policies and actions  that reflect needs of the community.

Fatima partner of MADRE shared her experience in Sudan in organizing small scale women farmers into cooperatives to enhance their access to markets and improve value added to their products.

The gathering also provided space for other women to share stories on the different initiatives they are doing to respond to climate change. A woman climate advocate from Nigeria, Titi Akosa shared on the Indigenous rain water harvesting initiative with the Esan people of Edo state, Nigeria.

Chief Caleen from North America shared on the challenge of the dams being built in their communities and challenge it presents to community in accessing clean water. She advised that initiatives at community level should focus on cleaning the rivers to run clean again.

Participants at the side event underscored the importance  of solidarity of all women around the  globe in demanding for actions from world  leaders to address climate change at COP21.

Report By

Ms  Titilope Gbemisola Akosa

Ms Edna Kaptoyo