GAGGA voices on COVID-19: Human rights

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“The only thing that is clear is what we are experiencing: a state of emergency, with repression, with a lack of constitutional rights, with authoritarianism — for a large part of the population who are living it.

          — Yoseling Guardado, Colectiva Feminista para el Desarrollo Local, El Salvador

Women environmental defenders have been planting the seeds for a better future that prioritizes the wellbeing of all people and the planet over profit, fighting for their rights to defend our environment and the sustainability of life. Now more than ever in the face of COVID-19, there is an urgent need to support their struggles; if the protection of their human rights isn’t prioritized, we are putting our movements and opportunities to create positive systems change at risk.

In more than 60 audio recordings, our partners in Latin America, Asia and Africa shared similar challenges of repression, exclusion, violence and food insecurity exacerbated by the pandemic. Many of the governments from the countries where partners work are using the cover of coronavirus measures to clamp down on rights and push out policies that further marginalize and discriminate, as well as relax environmental regulations. Click play on the 14-minute audio and listen to our partners’ experiences of this in their own words, from 11 countries across the GAGGA network (translated subtitles provided). 


You can read a message on these audio stories from the Executive Directors of GAGGA’s alliance members here, and listen to our partners and allies speak about alternative economies, food sovereignty and other topics below:

The illustration used in this audio was designed by Dijema Méndez.

Learn more about the partners featured in the podcast

*Partners are listed in order of appearance. 

Yenny Noguera Rodriguez, Coordinadora Nacional de la Defensa de los Territorios y Áreas Protegidas de Bolivia

Liliana Ávila, Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente, Latin America

Yoseling Guardado, Colectiva Feminista para el Desarrollo Local, El Salvador

Miriam García, Asociación de Desarrollo Económico Social, El Salvador

María Carmelina Chocooj, San Pedro Carchá Municipality, Guatemala

Emem Okon, Kebetkache Women’s Development and Resource Centre, Nigeria

Bernada Pesoa Torrez, Santa Rosa Community, Paraguay

Bhanu Kalluri, Dhaatri Trust, India

Bina Khadka, Mahila Mukti Manch, Nepal

Marine Bzhalava, Kvemo Kartli Media, Georgia

Sanchir, National Center against Violence, Mongolia 

The women of the dry corridor, Nicaragua

If you want to learn more about GAGGA and our partners’ work, you can subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter. Thanks for listening and stay safe!


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