In 2013, WEA and Semillas began a multi-year partnership to support Mexican women-led grassroots environmental efforts through small grants and strategy sessions. Through this support, Indigenous women leaders have come together to promote indigenous women’s land rights in 5 Mexican states.
This work is critical since, despite the fact that women play an increasingly central role in environmental protection and management in Mexico, they are typically left out of decision-making the the implementation of environmental policies. Furthermore, gendered approaches to policy are rarely prioritized in environmental and sustainable development projects, and financial opportunities that address environmental initiatives in Mexico do not reach women or women-led projects.
Who’s Being Supported?
National Network of Indigenous Women Weaving Rights for Mother Earth and Territory (RENAMITT), a network of Indigenous women leaders promoting women’s rights to land in 5 Mexican states, including: an Odami community in Chihuahua, a Mixteca community in Guerrero, Wixarika communities in Jalisco, a Chinanteca community and an Ayuujk community in Oaxaca, and an Otomi community in Veracruz.
What Takes Place In The Program?
With WEA and Semillas’ support, RENAMITT aimed to:
- Strengthen community knowledge among Indigenous men and women regarding the negative consequences of the Energy Reform’s implementation on their land and property.
- Design and implement local dissemination strategies among diverse Indigenous regions to increase visibility of this issue.
- Increase the participation of young Indigenous men and women in reflection sessions focused on how to protect and defend natural resources and land from the negative effects of the Energy Reform in Mexico.
Workshops given that support our leaders using the Iguatlanesti model
Since 1990, Semillas’ grantmaking has supported 68 organizations and 95 projects in 18 Mexican states.
A recent survey in Mexico reported that only 3% of all Mexican philanthropic funds are directed to women.
In 2009, out of the 12.3 million women living in the rural sector in Mexico, only 5% had land rights.
Meet the Women Leaders
Semillas (Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer A.C.), based in Mexico City, is the largest fund dedicated to women’s causes in the country. Semillas works closely with small and emerging women’s organizations and women leaders in the common goal of improving the status of women in Mexico.
Silvia Pérez Yescas, RENAMITT
Silvia, a Zapoteca-Chinanteca from Oaxaca, says that “Nobody dared to talk about [indigenous women's land rights]," but that with the support of this partnership, she "was able to break the silence in my region. I’ve also been able to help other indigenous sisters to claim their land rights and advocate for the inclusion of women in communal assemblies, where key decisions are made.”
Semillas (Sociedad mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer A.C.) is an organization based in Mexico City that works closely with small and emerging women’s organizations and leaders to improve the status of women in Mexico. Semillas is not looking to provide a short-term cure for the conditions of injustice and inequality that many Mexican women experience. Instead, its work is to target the roots that generate these conditions. Like WEA, Semillas believes in solutions that come from community-based organizations.
Semillas provides financial resources, accompaniment and training to women leaders and organizations acting in favor of the rights of women in various states throughout Mexico.