The United Nations General Assembly declared the 11’th of December the “International Mountain Day”. Since 2003, a great emphasis has been placed on raising awareness of the importance of mountains for life, highlighting the opportunities and constraints of mountain development and building alliances / partnerships that will bring positive changes for mountain populations and environments.
“Women move mountains” is the theme of this year’s International Mountain Day on 11 December.
Women play a key role in environmental protection and social and economic development in mountain areas. They are often the primary managers of mountain resources, guardians of biodiversity, keepers of traditional knowledge, custodians of local culture and experts in traditional medicine.
Increasing climate variability, coupled with a lack of investment in mountain agriculture and rural development, has often pushed men to migrate elsewhere in search of alternative livelihoods. Women have therefore taken on many tasks formerly done by men, yet mountain women are often invisible due to a lack of decision-making power and unequal access to resources.
As farmers, market sellers, businesswomen, artisans, entrepreneurs and community leaders, mountain women and girls, in particular in rural areas, have the potential to be major agents of change. When rural women have access to resources, services and opportunities, they become a driving force against hunger, malnutrition and rural poverty and are active in the development of mountain economies.
To trigger real change towards sustainable development, it is important to engage in gender transformative change.
International Mountain Day 2022 is an opportunity raise awareness about the need to empower mountain women so they can participate more effectively in decision-making processes and have more control over productive resources. By sharing excellence, opportunities and capacity development in mountains, the Day can promote gender equality and therefore contribute to improve social justice, livelihoods and resilience.
For additional details please access the International Mountain Day webpage.