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Mbororo Climate Activist in Chad on Her Struggles to be Respected

When Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, a member of Chad's Mbororo pastoralists, first went to talk to the men of her community about climate change, she found herself sitting on the floor.

"The chiefs who take all the decisions are men. Talking to them was not easy," she remembers. "I had to sit down on the floor while the chiefs were sitting on chairs. (But) I greeted them and said I needed to talk to them about a very important thing, I needed to talk about our future."

Since then, Ibrahim, 32, has become a rarity in her culture: an educated woman who takes the stage at home and internationally to speak out on the need for action on climate change, and on rights for women and indigenous groups.

"Being an indigenous woman in Africa is a double marginalisation," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of the U.N. climate talks in Morocco, which finished last weekend.

Ibrahim was born the third of five brothers and sisters in her family and, unusually, was allowed to go to school by her father. Such opportunities are rare for girls in the culture of the Mbororo, a group of pastoralists living in the Sahel across Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and the Central African Republic, she said.

Pilar Valbuena/CIFOR

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