The first-ever forum of indigenous women from local communities in Central Africa and the Congo Basin was held on Friday, May 12th, in Brazzaville, Congo. These women found themselves around the preservation of the environment.
This meeting brought together, since Monday, May 8th, almost 150 women from a dozen African countries and other continents, as well as donors. This forum aimed to try to attract attention and promote the essential role played by these women in the preservation of their natural environments, whether they are Fulani, desert nomads, or pygmy women from the equatorial forest.
The organizers of this forum started from an observation, namely that, regardless of the environment from which they come, these indigenous women play a key role in its protection.
“Their life depends on the forest, the savannah, this bush in which they live. This is why they have specific protection systems that are transferred from mother to daughter to adapt. Indigenous peoples are the best guardians of the planet”, underlines Aïssatou Oumarou, vice-president of Repaleac, a network of indigenous peoples of Central Africa committed to the preservation of nature.
The problem is that these indigenous women, totally marginalized until now, went unnoticed. Repaleac, therefore, organized, with the help of the Congolese government and donors, this forum whose objective was to promote the work of these women.
These indigenous women also come up against another almost insurmountable problem, as the vice-president of Repaleac points out “Women are 99% of people who have not gone to school. The rare projects to which women manage to respond are projects with a whole series of intermediaries and therefore there is no direct access to funding. It is a disaster.”