Peruvian indigenous women defend their land rights and become community leaders

SER Association promoted changes in 25 community statutes to formally include women in decision-making processes. It also developed women´s capacities to improve their effectiveness in their new roles as community leaders. Nowadays, 20 women in the Andean regions of Ayacucho and Puno have joined the management boards of their respective communities and are implementing local sustainable development projects. Indigenous communities in Peru confront policies prioritizing extractive activities, regulations threatening their collective rights, and greater socio-environmental conflicts. In this context, Ayacucho and Puno women defend their territories but have limited participation in decisions taken over land issues. In addition to persistent obstacles to land ownership and access to senior management positions in the communities, limitations to the participation of indigenous women are intensified by their low educational levels and their widespread use of native tongues (Quechua in Ayacucho and Aymara in Puno).

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