Project Title: Capacitating and promoting of local women to address and advocate issues on natural resources, environment and climate change affecting women in Churachandpur, Manipur undertaken by Rural Women Upliftment Society (RWUS), Manipur.

Rural Women Upliftment Society (RWUS) is a church Based, not for profit, gender just indigenous philanthropic organization founded by the development department of the Independent Church of India (ICI) in the year 1990.With full autonomy in administration and functioning, RWUS seeks to address the issues and concerns of the people without compromising their unique cultural, social and religious practices encompassing gender, Local Capacity for Peace (LCP) and Environment as cross cutting theme.

RWUS had been working on three thematic areas:  Gender and Women Leadership, Food Security and on issues around Environment, Climate and Natural Resources. RWUS implemented food security project for the last ten years in Manipur, North East India addressing the livelihood and improving family food security for marginalized farmers and economically disadvantage tribal communities

Project Brief: Tribal society is intrinsically woven around patriarchal lineage where a woman occupies lesser importance yet high responsibility. From a home maker to bread earner of the family, a woman plays a pivotal role in the society. Besides shouldering the responsibility of being the family caretaker, women also contributes greatly to the social and economic sustenance of the family. In many tribal societies, women acts as the primary producer and the men played a secondary role in producing the family food requirements. Women performed hard labour equally to their male counterpart like Jhum farming, gathering of firewood, charcoal preparations, collection of forest products and lowland paddy farming. From transplanting to harvesting, a woman contributes equal labour to men. Since a woman contributes greatly to the economic needs of the family among the tribes, the impact of climate change has been mostly borne by women. The depleting forest cover deprived women’s of their primary source of food. The once bountiful forest areas now lay barren which were cut down for commercial purposes and hapless women’s are cut off from their steady supply of forest products like fruits, leaves, roots and tubers. Impact of climate change is manifested in many ways. One big area of concern is the gradual decline in the rainfall over the years. This change in the rainfall pattern has cause untold hardship and difficulties to women since women are the one who provides food and water for the family. The failure of monsoon rain, the scarcity of water, environmental degradation and the continuing decline of forest products has affected the lives of women as a producer and provider for the family.

 

Goals and Objectives of the project:

12 women environment activist will be promoted and properly trained to coordinate, monitor and work for women and environment related issues.

  • Communities will manage and utilize natural resources wisely for sustainable development.
  • Increased awareness level on Climate Change & and its adaptation in the context of women.
  • Local women combat issues confronting their day to day life.
  • Strengthening local women collectives to voice their concerns.
  • The project seeks to capacitate rural women on environment, climate change and natural resources which affect them by providing training and awareness, promoting women environment activist and advocating for policy influence at the local levels.

Recent project development till date

  • Assessment of climate change impact on Women.
  • Capacity building on Globalization and women.
  • Advocacy at local level
  • Promotion of women environment promoters.
  • Environmental campaign
  • 60 dustbins were distributed in the entire 6 project village whereby the dustbins were kept in various places where the women leaders and youth feel necessary i.e. in public gathering places like playgrounds, village market places, and community halls and in water sources. Outlets/books on environment education were distributed among the youths and women are where it enriches their knowledge related to environment.
  • Women’s Organizations and Youth departments at village level are aware on the perception of waste management take up their action plan in the preservation and protection of environment by planning their own way of managing their household waste and by organizing social work in their own community where the whole community comes forward and takes step in the protection of their own environment.
  • Women environment promoters and Women Associations are ready to lobby and advocate for their needs particularly on the protection and construction of water sources and they were engaging in different activities at their village level for environmental sustainability. Creating awareness relating to environment and putting down guidelines for conduct in a frame stationed at strategic points within the community.