Brazilian indigenous women march for equal rights in Brasília

They also demand land demarcation and the end of illegal mining

Published on 11/09/2023 - 11:40 By Andreia Verdélio - Brasília

Indigenous women from all over the country are gathering in Brasília from September 11 to 13 to advocate women’s rights and the preservation of indigenous cultures. With the theme “Women Biomes in Defense of Biodiversity Through Ancestral Roots,” the official opening of the 3rd Indigenous Women’s March took place on Sunday evening (Sep. 10).

“At the heart of this march is a powerful call for equal rights for indigenous women. These women have faced countless challenges and injustices throughout their lives, but they refuse to stay silenced. We demand access to quality health care, education, and economic opportunities. We fight for the protection of land and natural resources, which have been exploited for far too long. We advocate an end to violence against indigenous women—a widespread problem that has plagued our communities for generations,” says the note from the National Articulation of Indigenous Women Warriors of Ancestry (Anmiga), which organized the rally.

The 2023 event will also mark the continuation of the struggle against illegal mining, as well as the calls for land demarcation and political training for indigenous representation in spaces of power. Plenaries, working groups, and cultural activities should take place as part of the march. On Wednesday (13), participants will walk along the Esplanade of Ministries and talk to the authorities about the letter of demands, which was delivered in January this year.

“Our biggest enemies are the laws that don’t recognize our diversity and our existence. Talking about demarcating indigenous lands means shouting for the continued existence of our peoples. Having an indigenous woman as the first indigenous minister means that women are the healing of the land as well as the answer to confronting gender violence and forms of racism, including structural, institutional, and environmental racism,” Anmiga stated, regarding Minister of Indigenous Peoples Sônia Guajajara.

Representatives of the indigenous women’s movement from other parts of the world will also be present. Delegations are expected to come from Peru, the US, Malaysia, Russia, and New Zealand. “This diversity of participants highlights the universality of the issues faced by indigenous women—such as access to land, gender violence, discrimination, and the struggle for autonomy and empowerment,” the association’s note reads.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Carolina Pimentel

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