In 2021, the Philippines was identified as the deadliest country in Asia and third in the world for environmental defenders, with women facing unique vulnerabilities and even graver threats. In the face of continued extractive human activities that have devastating environmental impacts, along with the persistent feminization of the burden of managing natural resources for a household's survival, the WEDefend (Women Environmental Defenders) Project will advance women's leadership through innovative and direct support that empowers and capacitates the women environmental defenders (WEDs).
The complete project name is “Strengthening WEDefenders towards a Resilient and Inclusive Natural Resources Governance” (or “SWING”) project and is being supported by The Asia Foundation (TAF).
The project will be implemented by the island-wide clusters:
- Luzon = SALIGAN Bicol, Tanggol Kalikasan, and Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC)
- Visayas = Philippine Earth Justice Center (PEJC), PROCESS Panay, and KAISAHAN Negros
- Mindanao = BALAOD Mindanaw and LRC (Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center)
The Objectives of the project include:
- Equip WEDs and civil society organizations (CSOs) with the necessary skills to conduct their work safely and effectively and influence policies without threats of violence.
- Improve access to justice of WEDs who face violence, abuse, or harassment.
- Advance women's leadership and advocacy on local and national priorities related to natural resources and the environment.
- Strengthen public and institutional knowledge of technical environmental information.
The project components include:
- Building a multi-sectoral coalition of WEDs
- Embarking on capacity-building program for WEDs
- Provision of Psycho-Social Support (PSS) for WEDs
- Legal Defense Fund for WEDs
- Launch campaigns for WEDs
Date: September 28, 2022