The project aims to build a transnational network of mountain women* and to organize its first expedition to the Aconcagua mountain - 6962m, via the normal route (Horcones Valley) from December 2021 to January 2022. We aim to build mountain women's collective feminist leadership and narrate a collective mountaineering story, strengthening economic justice for mountain women, and foregrounding the collective knowledge and experience of mountain women in defending nature and protecting mountains.
It is a collective collaborative project by the enterprise Mujeres a la Cumbre from Argentina and Chile, non-profit organization Feminist Hiking Collective from Europe, non-profit organization Empowering Women of Nepal from Nepal, and with groups Women Who Hike from Kenya, Kilimanjaro Women from Tanzania, and Cholitas Escaladoras from Bolivia.
United, equal, supporting and caring for each other to tell a collective feminist hiking story.
We are seeking funds to allow the participation of two women from each of the participating groups to the expedition: by making a donation (no matter how small) you can contribute to sponsoring the expedition cost (which includes airport transfers, mountain guides, porters, all food and drinks, internal travelling, all expedition accommodation and park entrance fees). Each woman's expedition cost amounts to approx. 3,000 Euros - for a total of 36,000 Euros.
We aim to gather in the Aconcagua mountain women, such as women guides, porters, mountain workers, hikers and women living in mountainous areas, from different countries and backgrounds, including women who are working in heavily patriarchal environments where men generally carry out these activities. They defend and live in reciprocity with the mountains, and protect our connection and belonging to Mother Earth. Some of women participating are indigenous women living and working in the Andes. Others are local women working as guides and porters from the Himalayas to Mount Kilimajaro, from the Dolomites to Mount Kenya. Some of the women who are part of the project's organizations and groups are women from disadvantaged backgrounds, and many of them are also mothers and have families in charge; therefore, it would be difficult for them to access this type of experience.
The project seeks to build women’s collective feminist leadership and to sustain a transnational network of mountain women before and following the first expedition. This support network is a tool to support and connect mountain women and facilitate cultural exchange, sharing skills, knowledge and learning, strengthening resilience, creating new collaborative work opportunities and shared projects, building economic justice. The partner organizations and groups will prepare in their respective countries their participating women, which upon their return they will seek to share this experience in their communities with wider groups of mountain women.
We aim to foreground the fundamental importance of collectively protecting and respecting mountains, to promote multiculturalism and diversity as elements of deep richness and shared learning; to create and sustain a narrative of mountaineering as a collective experience that builds women's collective power, thus encouraging more women to get involved with mountaineering, and as a tool for collective care, sharing and solidarity, to build humility, resilience, and our reciprocity with and belonging to Mother Earth.
Most importantly, it is about doing this as a team, collectively. The mountain unites us. Together we transform!
*When we use the word “women” we always mean people self-identifying as women.
Consapevolezza - Collettività - Condivisione - Contro ogni forma di discriminazione
Il progetto Cholitas in Dolomiti prevede l'organizzazione di un periodo di escursioni, incontri e condivisioni con il gruppo delle Cholitas Escaladoras Maya dalla Bolivia nelle Dolomiti di Brenta a luglio-agosto 2021. Le Cholitas Escaladoras Maya sono un gruppo di donne indigene Aymara della Bolivia che sfidano discriminazione e disuguaglianze e scalano assieme le montagne. Il progetto mira a creare consapevolezza sulla montagna come luogo di empowerment collettivo, unione e solidarietà, per superare assieme ogni forma di oppressione e discriminazione. Il progetto prevede due settimane di escursioni ed incontri nelle quali rappresentanti del gruppo Cholitas Escaladoras Maya incontrino gruppi locali come simbolo di scambio tra tradizioni e culture di montagna, e include incontri ed eventi per creare consapevolezza sulla discriminazione e violenza di genere. Il progetto mira anche a sostenere una narrativa delle Dolomiti come patrimonio collettivo, spazio accessibile ed inclusivo, per promuovere la connessione e reciprocità con la montagna.
You can find our overview article here. This initial article is only an initial unpacking of collective feminist leadership, and aims to be followed by more pieces across all 2021 that focus on specific themes, including unpacking the different elements of feminist leadership and how we can build it together; collective care; a reflection on the question ‘whose collective feminist leadership power are we building?’ and on an intersectional approach in collective-power building and organising work; a deeper focus around collective feminist realities and spaces; the groundwork of feminist popular education; a discussion of how we can use or change social media in a non-individualistic and egocentric way (is that even possible); a deeper exploration of the individualistic and self-centred framework and culture of Western society and its societal structures and governance models; a focus on how can we can learn from other (and collectivist) societies, cultures and knowledge; decolonising feminist work; and much more - with contributions from different intersectional feminist organisations and groups.
We would also like to acknowledge and express our profound gratitude to those feminist groups, collectives, networks and organizations whose work have collectively inspired and grounded our reflections and our practice: JASS, CREA, FRIDA The Young Feminist Fund, Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Mujeres Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (IM-Defensoras), Ni Una Menos, NDN Collective, AWID, FAMM Indonesia and many more.