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Studies on Matriarchal Societies

Matriarchal communities are playing a key role in agrobiodiversity preservation. They are leaded by egalitarian and holistic social dynamics, which creates strong connections between collective wellbeing, food security and biodiversity, representing examples of communities of peace, solidarity and nutritional security.

These kinds of societies are usually agricultural societies where are applicate usufruct rights rather than property rights. They are frequently characterised by gift economics, where gifts are generally more valuable than trade, because of the importance of social relationships and solidarity. However, these communities are facing a strong marginalisation and erosion, due to globalisation forces, leaded by global trade rules, in direct opposition to gift economies.

As a part of the work for Indigenous Terra Madre 2015, the Indigenous Partnership is coordinating a series of field researches on Indigenous matriarchal societies, recognising the important role they are playing in agrobiodiversity preservation. They may also became examples of a fairer model of society. The main objective of this research project is to create a network to share knowledge and to empower these communities, through collaborative studies, conducted with participatory methodologies. These studies will highlight the role played by women as guardians of indigenous foods, livelihoods and nutritional security. One of the researches is carried out in the Karen community (Northern Thailand), one in Nagaland and West Khasi Hills (Northeast India) and one in the Mohawk communities (Canada). Source: Agroecology Fund 2014 full proposal

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