Monica Aleman Cunningham (Nicaragua)
Monica Aleman Cunningham is the Women’s Rights’ Program Officer at the Ford Foundation as part of the Protecting Women’s Rights initiative. Monica supports the Ford Foundation (FOS) in achieving integrative and collaborative grant making. For Ms. Aleman “every human right is a women’s right” and with that in mind she reflects on the integral role that women have played in society.
Monica has a long history of working for indigenous peoples, particularly women, at the international and national level. Mónica served as Coordinator of the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI/IIWF). As an indigenous woman and having grown up during the war in Nicaragua, Monica has devoted herself to creating peace, security, and human rights for all peoples throughout the world. She worked at MADRE, where she significantly expanded the breadth and depth of their international programs and partnerships with community-based women’s groups. She currently conducts seminars on human rights, women’s human rights, and on United Nations agencies, as well as leadership training for women and youth in countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico.
Monica spearheaded the report; ‘Mairin Iwanka Raya: Indigenous Women Stand against Violence’, and has initiated inter-movement dialogues on issues such as sexual rights, feminism, and indigenous peoples’ rights. In 2001, she played a key role in the Youth Caucus at the U.N. World Conference against Racism in South Africa, and she facilitated the participation of indigenous women in Beijing + 5 and Beijing +10 in New York in 2000 and 2005.