Economic justice

This issue of Making Change Happen examines the threats, challenges, strategies and aspirations of indigenous and rural women within the greater JASS community. Why this focus? There is plenty of evidence to indicate that indigenous and rural women are facing increasing difficulties throughout the world.
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Across Mexico and Central America, indigenous women are leading their communities in efforts to defend their territories and natural resources against unregulated extraction projects and land grabs in the name of “development.” From Panama to El Salvador, women are exposing the injustices of multinational companies and their governments’ lax policies.
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Even with the government's crackdown on activists' plans to organize on International Women's Day, the young women of JASS-inspired network CYWEN plan to make their voices heard, and help advance the momentum for change that is looming on the horizon in Cambodia.
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What a gathering! I just got back from the JASS leadership course in Nicaragua with some 34 women activists from Mesoamerica—that part of the Americas that reaches from Panama all the way up to Mexico and everywhere in between.
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A few weeks ago, I attended a discussion on Land Grabbing in Zimbabwe. As a Zimbabwean who grew up on a farm, I assumed I knew everything there was to know about this issue.
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At the 12th AWID Forum, JASS organized the in-depth session “Access to and Control over Resources: Organizing for Women’s EmPOWERment”. The following section presents some of the key ideas discussed in an attempt to broaden the understanding of access and control of resources from an analysis of power and rights. An example of these power dynamics is illustrated in a case from Guatemala where indigenous women and their communities’ struggle for recognition, rights, and resources threatened by mining industries.
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Women are too often the object of violence and the face of poverty,” explains Jean Stokan, Director of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Institute Justice Team. Given women’s marginalization due to racism, sexism and their socio-economic status, it is no surprise that working to free women from these oppressive forces is among the five priority concerns of the Sisters of Mercy.
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