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New practical guide on women actions in defence of human rights against extractive industries

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22 August 2017

Weaving resistance through action: strategies of women human rights defenders confronting extractive industries

Author: The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) & the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRDIC)

Women Human Rights Defenders are challenging extractive industries and taking on corporate power and vast economic and political forces. These inspiring stories of action and resistance tell us that extractive industries may have immense economic and political resources at their disposal; but they are not invincible. Corporate power is overwhelming in its scope, but it is not as all-encompassing and invulnerable as it seeks to appear. Resistance is not futile. Forty-eight women human rights defenders from 22 countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa, participated in a research process of interviews and regional collective consultations conducted by AWID and the Women Human Rights Defender International Coalition (WHRDIC). Confronting extractive industries means challenging powerful national and transnational corporations and global elites that operate in collusion with governments and often with religious and ‘traditional’ institutions... For indigenous peoples, it is a familiar centuries-old struggle, against colonization and dispossession by foreign powers. For women, it also involves challenging patriarchy and traditional gender roles, as they assert leadership in defense of their rights, communities and territories…

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21 April 2017

Women Human Rights Defenders confronting extractive industries

Author: The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

Whilst the extractive industry is only one manifestation of corporate power, its excesses are particularly bold - conflict (often bloody) with affected communities, environmental degradation and stark power imbalance between corporations and local communities that hinders people’s access to justice...Women defending their lands, communities, and the environment face critical risks and gender- specific challenges. Often, WHRDs who confront extractive industries are not only challenging corporate power, but also a deeply rooted patriarchy. As a result, they are targeted both as defenders of rights, land and natural resources, and as women defying gender norms. In these struggles, women experience all the hardships of human rights defenders, but also cope with gender-specific violence and risks.

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