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A Common Right in Nicaragua

Miskitu Indigenous women from Wangki Tangni, Nicaragua have played a crucial role in securing their communities' collective land rights.

Photos: Jason Taylor/ILC

Not only in defense of Indigenous Peoples' rights, but as part of the global movement for women's liberation, where indigenous women have a stronger role in their community, have access to land, education, health and suffer from less domestic violence.

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For over a century, their land was taken from them and given to international corporations to exploit its natural resources.

Until a group of women from the community decided that enough was enough.

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With the support of CADPI, in 1987, the community finally gained recognition as an autonomous region and managed to secure their collective land rights. Now, the community has the freedom to manage their lands and natural resources.

Miskitu Indigenous women played a key role in the process.  

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"As women, when we are fighting for our rights we don't separate collective from individual rights. It is the fight for the respect of our territory, our land and Mother Earth. It is a common good that needs to be protected and respected."

Rose Cunningham - Miskitu indigenous leader

The community has a woman-elected syndic and other women in leadership positions that are contributing to making decisions that benefit the whole community while empowering other women to step up.

"Women, mothers and Mother Earth are closely connected" - says Rose

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"There is an intimate relationship with the soil and what is under the soil, with the air and the wind."

Rose Cunningham - Miskitu indigenous leader

But their focus stretches beyond their community.

Miskitu women are now part of a global movement advocating for indigenous women to have a stronger role in their community, have access to land, education and health.

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Their dream is that one day, every woman will be empowered to take up space and make decisions.

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This story is part of the Land Rights Now campaign in solidarity with the struggles of Indigenous Peoples and local communities seeking to secure their land and territorial rights.

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