The Global Gathering of Women Pastoralists, held from 21-26 November 2010 in Mera (Gujarat), India, brought together over 100 women from herding communities scattered across 32 different countries to discuss the myriad problems faced by nomadic and semi-nomadic women pastoralists worldwide, and how, united, they can strive to solve them.
Participants at the Gathering identified key issues, including markets, rules and rights, environment; social movement, education, and, health; as well as a number of priorities for action, such as representation, communication and networking, education and capacity building, and advocacy. They also selected representatives to draft the Mera Declaration to inform and support the development of pastoralist policies, but also to demonstrate commitment to environmental sustainability and protection of biodiversity and common resources for future generations. Participants also elected Safouratou Moussa Kané (Niger) and Lalji Desai (India) were as Pastoralist Focal Points to Coordination Committee of the Civil Society Mechanism to the Committee on World Food Security (FAO) and will be representing pastoralists in this forum for one year.
The idea for the gathering was developed by MARAG, a voluntary organization established in 1994 which works to educate, organize and empower the Maldharis – a marginalized pastoral community from Gujarat in India. MARAG is supported by: International Union for Conservation of Nature – World Initiative for sustainable Pastoralism (IUCN-WISP), International Land Coalition (ILC), The World Alliance for Mobile Pastoralists (WAMIP) and the League for Pastoral Peoples (LPP).
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The International Land Coalition (ILC) is a coalition of civil society and intergovernmental organizations promoting secure and equitable access to and control over land for poor women and men thro