Drawing on findings from EJN’s recent report, “Where are the Women?”, we ask journalists to consider: Do you instinctively disregard sources who share generational wisdom or experiential knowledge? When reporters are open to multiple forms of knowledge — and not just the kind that's legitimized by academic institutions — women's perspectives can be better centered.
In recognition of International Women's Day, we dipped into EJN's archives to showcase a selection of stories that give credence to traditional knowledge and seek out women experts in their fields. Here’s a small selection:
Bangladesh: Women farmers from Datnakhali village in Bangladesh are using traditional cultivation methods to grow vegetables and adapting new approaches to combat the extreme salinity caused by the cyclone Aila in 2009. Reported by EJN grantee Banani Mallick.
Cameroon: In many communities of Africa, land rights are the preserve of men, and women farmers are often left to face increasing impacts of climate change. Read about how rural women from Ndop in Cameroon fought for their land rights and now support their families through commercial rice farming. A report by EJN grantee, Elias Ntungwe Egalame.
Colombia: Read about the role of Yatules in Misak communities. Indigenous Misak women are stewards of medicinal plant biodiversity and holders of ancestral wisdom, reports EJN grantee Johana Fernanda Sánchez Jaramillo.
India: Coastal women in Odisha are working together to break away from the shackles of middlemen, empower their fishing community and achieve financial independence, reports EJN grantee Priya Ranjan Sahu.
Indonesia: Indigenous women farmers in East Kalimantan continue to practice traditional forms of agriculture despite the encroachment of palm oil plantations on their ancestral lands. A report by EJN grantee Tessa Toumbourou.
Kenya: A women's cooperative of fishers in Kenya’s Kwale county upended traditional gender roles by rearing fish as a source of income and leading efforts to conserve their coastal environment. A report by EJN grantee, Justus Bahati Wanzala.
Nepal: Learn how women from Ratanpur village in Nepal are rejuvenating their barren ancestral lands by adopting a carbon credit model. Reported by EJN grantee Abhaya Raj Joshi.
Philippines: Women fishers from the Zambales region in the Philippines play a critical role in supporting their families' livelihoods, finds EJN grantee Geela Garcia.
Solomon Islands: Rural women from the Solomon Islands have been empowered through a micro-finance scheme and have now taken the lead to conserve land and marine resources. A report by EJN grantee Priestley Habru.
Sudan: Read about how a community's songs helped re-green central Sudan's villages threatened by desertification. Reported by EJN grantee Hannah McNeish.
Vanuatu: In a remote part of the Pacific, water music is helping women deepen their ties to the ocean and strengthen their social and economic standing. Reported by Aude-Emilie Dorion.
To read more EJN supported stories that showcase women’s traditional knowledge, expertise and unique perspectives in environmental reporting, click here.
Banner image: Chitamma, the woman behind Samudram, at her residence in Sana Aryjapalli village in Ganjam / Credit: Arabinda Mahapatra.