Indigenous women in Brazil unite in historic march

This inspiring news comes to us from Brazil.

There is an indigenous movement sweeping across the Amazon and as a part of this overwhelming movement, thousands of indigenous women have started arriving at Sao Paolo, the capital of Brazil. The awe-inspiring display of feminine unity and strength has started since yesterday as a part of the country’s first-ever Women’s March.

Women are carrying banners which have “Territory, our body, our spirit” and they have taken to the streets to protest against the policies of Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro. This has set the context for escalating violations of indigenous rights, violence and racism and the more alarming Amazon deforestations of recent memory.

There are women from 110 ethnic groups in Brazil and joining them arm in arm are indigenous women leaders from other areas of the Amazon.  They have joined the March to express their solidarity with the protestors and also to share their struggles with the defense of the ancestral rainforest homelands. Leaders like the Waorani leader NemonteNenquimo as well as Kofan Leader Alexandra Narvaez from Equador have united in their claims. Both the above leaders have had key victories against mining and oil interests in their homeland in Equador. They have been successful in setting historic precedents for nature’s rights and indigenous rights.

Kofan Leader Alexandra Narvaez says,” Today, as women, we are on the frontlines- it is no longer only the men! We, women, are the ones who are taking on this fight for our territory for or territory is our life, it is our body. Joining the women here in Brazil is an incredible experience; we are standing together, we are no longer alone. As women, we are uniting to protect our territories from destruction and we are demanding that the government respect our rights.”

As projects of an extractive nature threaten the indigenous territories across the Amazon, the rise into power of Brazilian president JairBolsonaro heralds even more ominous future of the world’s most crucial and important rainforest with a lot of stake in the overall climate of the world. However, the indigenous women of Brazil are standing firm with their resistance.

Indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara says, “We don’t have to accept the destruction of our rights, submission is not culture. We are here to demystify the idea that indigenous women do not participate in this struggle and also to demonstrate that we are prepared to occupy any space.”

Image source: bridgetmarys

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