17 February, 2021

MIDAGRI takes the first step to recognize the contributions of indigenous women

As the creation of the Rural Women’s Directorate is announced, CHIRAPAQ recommends considering the gender and ethnicity gaps faced by women farmers.

In light of the announcement of the creation of the Rural Women’s Directorate, CHIRAPAQ recommended the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (MIDAGRI) to consider the gender and ethnicity gaps of women farmers, who are estimated to be mostly indigenous in Peru.

In a letter sent to MIDAGRI, CHIRAPAQ pointed out that the imminent creation of the Rural Women’s Directorate is an opportunity to recognize the important role of indigenous women as defenders of natural resources and territories, food producers, guardians of native seeds, and transmitters of their peoples’ ancestral knowledge.

According to CHIRAPAQ’s spokesperson, Tarcila Rivera Zea, the denomination “rural women” focuses on a specific geopolitical and occupational space. On the other hand, being a rural indigenous woman means having their peoples’ culture and worldview as the mainstay in the management of their territory and agricultural production.

Likewise, CHIRAPAQ emphasized that in the case of indigenous women, their ethnic origin leads them to experience even greater limitations than other rural women; for instance, to the autonomy they have over their ancestral territories, the recognition of their food practices, the gender-based violence and racial discrimination they face in their homes and public space that limit their access to financial resources and access to markets.

Indigenous women play an important role in the articulation, continuity and development of food production systems, as well as in their family and communal economy that is not made visible, not remunerated and much less recognized through specific policies. “We believe that this is an important step towards the empowerment and visibility of the transcendental role that women play in food production,” said Tarcila Rivera Zea, president of CHIRAPAQ.

According to the FAO, the incorporation of gender and intercultural perspectives in public policies is essential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. “In order to leave no one behind in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the needs and challenges of indigenous women must be reflected in rural development and poverty reduction policies and count with their full and effective participation,” explains this UN Agency in its Zero Hunger Campaign.

“In this line of thought, we expectantly take the creation of the Rural Women’s Directorate as a first step in making indigenous women visible and developing specific policies in the production field.”