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.
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.
United, equal, supporting and caring for each other to tell a collective feminist hiking story.
The mountain unites us. Together we transform!
As part of the Mountain Women of the World project, we are hosting a Webinar on Earth Day, 22nd April, 13:00 to 15:00 UTC, led from a transnational network of mountain women*. It will be a space for groups of mountain women from around the world to share and learn from experiences and knowledge. The attendance to the Webinar is open to all upon registration.
The Webinar is organised by the project partners of Mountain Women of the World with the participation of: Mountain Partnership Secretariat, the UIAA - International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation, Travolution, Club Alpino Italiano, South South Women, Alessandra Segantin, Ana Agustina Barros, Bangladesh Mountaineering Federation, Topchu Art Group and Gender Responsible Tourism.
About the first expedition of the Mountain Women of the World project:
We aim to gather in Mount Aconcagua in Argentina 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 marginalised 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.
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 participant's expedition cost amounts to approx. 3,000 Euros - for a total of 36,000 Euros.
*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.
As at the Feminist Hiking Collective our work is aimed at building collective feminist leadership, we aim to publish a range of collaborative dialogues, articles and resources to unpack it (or at least try!) as a collective reflection project. We would be very happy to receive contributions and further reflections on this, as this is very much a working document and it is not meant to be a fully comprehensive analysis – it aims to be part of our grounding and analysis work that forms our practice.
The project aims to include tools for system transformation, from the inner to the wider society levels, collaborating with feminist groups, organisations and people to collectively reflect, build awareness and analyse the structures that underpin the neoliberal capitalist individualist patriarchal system, and unpacking different elements to build collective feminist leadership, mapping some of its practices worldwide, and grounding the project in a decolonial vision, ensuring dialogues and narratives are not extracting or de-contextualising knowledge, epistemologies and wisdom, but rather co-creating a collective and diverse feminist narrative that honours and acknowledges the collective experiences, work, struggles and resistance of groups and movements across the world.
We have written an introductory article to the project - you can find it here. This initial article is only an initial unpacking of collective feminist leadership, and aims to be followed by dialogues, co-authored pieces and initiatives that focus on specific themes.
We would 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, Non Una di Meno, AWID, FAMM Indonesia and many more.