Article by PBI-Canada
This past Sunday November 29, 152 people registered to participate in the PBI-Canada webinar that marked International Women Human Rights Defenders.
This virtual gathering enabled participants to hear the insights and wisdom of Kenyan community activist Maryanne Kasina, Colombian lawyer Tatiana Triana and Mi’kmaq land defender Sophia Sidarous and their reflections on the frontline struggles in which they are engaged.
The webinar was facilitated by PBI-Canada Board member Meera Karunananthan.
You can watch the one-hour video on our website here.
Maryanne was the first speaker. She highlighted the issues of gender-based violence, extra-judicial killings by the police, the feminization of poverty, and the importance of access to clean drinking water in the informal settlements of Nairobi, especially during the pandemic.
Then Sophia noted that women are leading the frontline struggles on Wet’suwet’en, Secwepemc, Algonquin, and Mi’kmaq territories. She emphasized that while Canada presents itself as an environmental advocate around the world, it’s important for the international community to know about the ongoing genocide against Indigenous women in this country. She also highlighted the violence that is experienced by Indigenous women due to the construction camps associated with megaprojects on Indigenous territories without consent.
The three speakers also highlighted ways to support frontline efforts including making donations directly to those struggles (including for resources for rapid responses to threats), sharing the Canadian report on missing and murdered Indigenous women, learning about what is happening on other territories, visibilizing struggles, building solidarity, recognizing emotional wellness as part of the struggle, and supporting women organizing together on the ground.
They also all emphasized the important role that women play in challenging state violence, exploitation and the unjust systems of capitalism, imperialism and colonialism that continue to oppress and kill people, poison water, and destroy the land.
Again, you can watch their full presentations here.