Twa Women, Twa Rights in the Great Lakes Region of Africa (November 2003)
A4, 44pp, ISBN 1 904584 11 X
The Twa, as an indigenous people in the Great Lakes region of Africa, are shunned by many other ethnic groups. If Twa communities as a whole suffer from discrimination, marginalization and extreme poverty, then Twa women suffer this and more. This situation has been exacerbated by violent conflict in the region.
Dorothy Jackson has many years experience of working with the region’s Twa communities and Twa women. Twa women’s voices can be heard clearly in this report, calling for change and for recognition of their rights – as indigenous people and as women. Despite the day-to-day discrimination and poverty, Twa women are resourceful and resilient, as this report shows.
Central to the issues facing Twa women, and their communities, is land. Twa have traditionally been dependent on their forests and land but today most Twa are landless. Their culture – and even their existence – is under threat. Added to this, the changes that are happening within Twa societies are overturning the relatively equal relationship between women and men.
This report considers government policies and international human rights law that could be used by Twa organizations and support agencies in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. The report concludes with a set of recommendations aimed at these states’ governments and at development organizations.
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