Role and contribution of indigenous women in water management: Case study of Cambodia and Vietnam

During recent decades the forest covered upland territories in Mekong sub-region have become the target of both state and private forms of exploitation. The rush to extract resources from forests, land, water and soil has impoverished Indigenous Peoples, endangered their livelihoods and their cultural and spiritual lives, harmed their well being and impaired their development. Confronted with commercial farming and large plantations, logging and extractive industries, large infrastructure projects such as hydropower dams or new transportation axes, often accompanied a massive influx of non-indigenous settlers and/or massive community displacement, indigenous groups are struggling all over the sub-region to assert their rights .

This process of development aggression is having a particular impact on indigenous women. The massive shift in resource access and control that has occurred in indigenous areas, has displaced indigenous women from their various roles; as managers of resources, food producers, repositories of traditional knowledge and practices, and promoters of community cohesion and identity, while at the same time it has charged them with the disproportionate burden of coping with these changes.

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