A Women’s Working Group has been initiated by ILC since July 2016. The working group aims at strengthening and consolidating global activities of ILC members towards Women’s Land Rights and Gender Justice. After three Skype calls with the members, it was time for a face to face interaction of the members of the Women’s Working Group.

Between 4 April -6 April  2017 such an opportunity was offered to the members of the Working Group to come together for a meeting. The objective of the meet was:

  • Validate the ToRs for the working group and discuss how to engage most effectively:

– as a group

– with the wider ILC network

– with other partners

  • Define the role of the WG in linking commitment-based initiatives (CBIs)
  • Identify opportunities and mechanisms for peer-to-peer learning
  • Build cross-regional linkages
  • Contribute to the gender audit

9 representative members from ILC’s global partners – representing different regions and organisation were present at the meet. Sabine Pallas and Elisabetta Cangelosi were the main co-ordinators on behalf of ILC Secretariat. Also present were the members of the consultant team commissioned for Gender Audit. The primary issues discussed during this meet included:

– Understanding the objective and functioning of Women’s Working Group

– Joint vision of ILC towards ensuring Women’s Land rights and Gender Justice.

– Initiatives taken under ILC Commitment -4:Women’s Land Rights

– Using the process of Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building to empower actions promoting Women’s Land Rights.

– Understanding the Women’s Land Rights toolkit and methods of using the toolkit as learning initiative.

– Discussing Land Rights Indicators and ILC’s Dashboard project.

Another key aspect of the meet was participation in the Gender Audit process of ILC.

The highlight of the meet was understanding the issue of women’s land rights from different perspectives from around the world. In each region, in fact, in each local area – the social systems related to women’s land rights is different. The responses and solutions are different accordingly. This is challenging as well as enriching in the way that it evokes a varied ways by which local groups, CBOs/CSOs, land rights workers respond to the situation.

However what was important was the learning that the participants got from each other. The ideas that emerged towards inter-regional learning, sharing and exchange of knowledge would go a long way in formulating long term solutions towards ensuring women’s land rights from the global point of view.

It was equally important to understand the role of Women’s Working Group towards Commitment Based Initiatives –Women’s Land Rights activities.

What was excellent of the meet was to understand the seriousness with which ILC is working as a team – Secretariat, RCUs and member organisations- in upholding the need to promote Women’s Land Rights as a key issue of the Land Rights Movement using key elements of Connect, Mobilise and Influence.. It was also an excellent scope to endorse the fact that gender balance and gender justice is pertinent to the Land Rights Movement.

Participation in the Gender Audit process also gave the participating members an opportunity to look back at the gender balance within the system and culture of their respective organisations. The interactive sessions gave a scope to understand the extent to which ILC as a coalition is gender-balanced and gender-just.

And not just the formal sessions, the informal interactions among the participants too was a wonderful to scope to connect with members from different parts of the world , who are serious about ensuring gender justice at every level.

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