While pastoralists have become increasingly vocal at global level, pastoralist women are still insufficiently heard within their own communities. Despite their key role in economic development and food security, their participation in decision- and policy-making remains limited.
Though pastoralists in general are already amongst the most marginalized people, pastoralist’ women are actually marginalized twice; as pastoralists and as women. Yet they increasingly take a stand and develop innovative approaches to defend their rights.
Session at the European Development Days
In order to raise awareness on this issue and recognise the important role of women in pastoralist communities, we organised a session on this topic at the European Development Days. This session was organised jointly with the Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern African Pastoralism (Celep) and the Pastoralist Knowledge Hub (PKH) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). We invited speakers from the European Commission, Unesco, the Pastoral & Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa (Penha) and the Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (Legs).
During a 75-minute session, the speakers discussed the challenges faced by pastoralist women and the solutions women come up with to address them. In their concluding statements, the speakers called for adapted and inclusive policies that recognise the importance of pastoralism. They also asked for the recognition of women as key-actors in pastoralist development.