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Intrepid helps African women climb Kilimanjaro to highlight female land rights Female farmers will be joined by Women’s AFL players

October 12, 2016 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

unnamed-11This week, Intrepid Travel will lead over 30 women farmers from all over Africa to the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro, to help them raise awareness for women’s land rights.  

Led by Intrepid’s expert guides and in partnership with ActionAid, travellers will trek alongside these courageous African women, in a show of support as they fight for land rights and gender equality.

On October 15, to coincide with the UN International Day of Rural Women, the climbers will join over 250 African women at a mass assembly, where those involved will produce a charter of demands for equal land rights to be presented to the United Nations and the African Union. The climb and assembly comes during the African Union’s yearlong focus on the “Rights of Women” in 2016.

In rural Africa, smallholder farmers (the majority of whom are women) produce close to 80% of the continent’s food. From sowing, weeding and fertilizing, to processing and transporting, these women form the backbone of Africa’s food security and production industry. Despite their vital contribution, most African women lack secure rights to their land and any access is usually through a male relative.

Geoff Manchester, Co-founder of Intrepid Travel and Chairman of The Intrepid Foundation said: “Gender issues are very much in the news right now. And while women from all over the world face challenges in their workplaces, these African rural women are trying to overcome a struggle for the most basic equal rights on the land that they work on. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and it’s a tough climb by anyone’s standards –  and overcoming it will give these strong women the highest possible platform to show the world that it’s time to change the outlook for rural women on the continent.”

Intrepid Travel leads hundreds of travellers up Mt Kilimanjaro every year. Intrepid provides fair working conditions to all of their porters, often beyond government regulations, and employs locals from disadvantaged communities.

Malawi, Rumphi District, 25 August 2009. Gongona village. Thabu Chidimba is a smallholder farmer in the irrigated fields tended by the village women. She is part of Coalition of Women’s Farmers which is part of the Women’s Forum – a project initiated by ActionAid. COWFA is funded by Irish Aid. Gongona is a child sponsorship DA. “I’m going to concentrate on making compost now because it helps me produce good results – in fact 7.5 tonnes of maize,” she said. At the far end of the field the women are creating a compost area with several piles fermenting nicely under plastic.  The plot Thabu shares with the Coalition of Women Farmers, came from the local chief Evans Gongona, and they’ve managed to irrigate the fields by building small channels and pumping water from the nearby river.

Women’s AFL players – Katie Brennan of the Western Bulldogs and Melissa Hickey from the Melbourne Demons – are also joining the climb to support gender equality.

ActionAid has been working with women farmers in rural Africa, to help them seek justice and fight for the basic rights they deserve to give their families a chance for a secure future.

Together, Intrepid Travel and ActionAid are helping lead the way for women’s land rights in Africa. Together, they will help women move mountains.

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