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INCREASING OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDIGENOUS WOMEN AS KEYACTORS FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ WELL-BEING: HOW TO STRENGTHEN TRADITIONAL LIVELIHOOD, COMMUNAL ECONOMY AND KNOWLEDGE Anima Pushpa Toppo email@example.com EC member of AIPP & Convener, Jharkhand Jangal Bachao Andolan (India)
Importance of Indigenous peoples Indigenous Non Indigenous
Forest and Tribal SocietyLIFE and LIVELIHOOD IS CENTRED IN FORESTFOREST BASED SOCIETYTraditionally the spiritual, cultural and economic life of the tribe is largely dependent on flora and fauna
Forest and womenThe notion of ‘mother earth’ is at the center of the value systemForest has always been a source of empowerment for women in tribal society’In the pre-patriarchal era woman enjoyed special status in society as the discoverer of agriculture and as the healer because of her intimacy with forest. In the patriarchal era too neither the state nor the tribal patriarchy could ever fully alienate her from the forestForest resources are strictly associated with women
Tribal economy conceptMonetary benefitsWhich are identified as saleable goods in the market as per the domain of the traditional knowledge system.Non-monetary benefitsThose benefits which are cannot be weighed in monetary balance but necessary for the traditional economy to carry out economic work like, teamwork, family support, sharing and learning, traditional institutions (pancha, madait).
Tribal economy conceptWomen find their involvement inboth the monetary as well as nonmonetary economic benefits.Women are backbone of thetraditional knowledge holder.Possess dearth of knowledge about variety of food availability,technique, practices, which have been learned and shared withinfamily and society, and used as a main strategy during the crisissituation over the years.
Specific Role of Tribal WomenGathering fruit, roots, herbs, firewood…To perform rituals, and spiritual activities.Agriculture –put out the traditional seeds from grain houseBuild and Take care of homeInformation gathering and transferring to the larger society
Recognition by International bodiesIndigenous knowledge is an invaluable basis for developing adaptation and natural resource management strategies in response to environmental and other forms of change’ (IPCC, 2007).This recognition was reaffirmed at IPCC’s 32nd Session (IPCC, 2010a) and consideration of traditional and indigenous knowledge was included as a guiding principle for the Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF) that was adopted by Parties at the 2010 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference in Cancun (UNFCCC, 2010).
Factors for strengthening traditionaleconomy:Strengthening local institutionCommunity function as a unit under different institutions like Gram Sabha, women group, youth group, cultural groups and traditional helping groups (Pancha, Madait). These local institutions are nothing but the subsets of knowledge block.Promoting community own resource managementCommunity owned resources are usually governed by rules and sanctions framed by local people in order to protect available resources, manage and continuous access to it.
Factors for strengthening traditionaleconomy:Trust creation by promoting Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)A constant programme and training on IPR should be given to indigenous community so that they can feel proud of their knowledge and safeguarded, which is in fact part of their culture and identity.Increase women participationIndigenous women are the prime knowledge holder. Hence, women participation should be increased at different level and institutions, within society so that learning and sharing process get strengthen.
Factors for strengthening traditionaleconomy:Strengthening Bottom approachOnce the youth and children recognize their traditional economy then they can further work on strengthening and protection. If children don’t recognize and show interest then with the expiration of knowledge holding generation the whole set of knowledge will be lost.
Factors for strengthening traditionaleconomy:Implementation of Govt. policy, Act and schemes which supports traditional knowledge systemTraditional economy can also be strengthened by properly implementing Govt. policy, Act, and schemes which are framed towards protection and conservation of traditional economy.In India, Forest Right Act (FRA) 2006, Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act (PESA) 1996, are the few which has the provision of protecting traditional economy.