Women Traditional Healers – Amador Hernandez, Chiapas, Mexico (2011). Photo: Langelle
World Rainforest Movement 7 March 2020
Women, particularly those who depend on forests for their livelihoods and sustenance, face many struggles.
Women often lead various types of resistance against violent threats to their territories, communities, ancestral cultures livelihoods and lives. Many also denounce the patriarchal and racist nature of the capitalist system. And many also have to deal with the chauvinist and sexist practices that are commonplace within their own communities, families and even resistance movements. Such forms of discrimination tend to obscure the dignified work and knowledge of women, infringe on their efforts to emancipate and empower themselves, and place at risk their roles of leadership through the harassment and violence they are exposed to.
The different forms of violence that many women suffer on a daily basis tend to increase dramatically when industrial plantations take over their territories. Industrial plantations occupy land traditionally used for cultivation and they cause contamination of water sources and soils as a result of the agrotoxins used in these monocultures. Industrial tree plantations also restrict freedom of movement and cause harassment and sexual abuse – for which the perpetrators are rarely persecuted.
Women’s Day is also a call to join women’s struggles against violence and discrimination. It’s a day to highlight the need to break the silence about the grave oppression, sexual abuse and dispossession of women’s freedoms and women’s autonomy to take decisions regarding their own bodies and lives. The WRM joins this call in solidarity, and expresses its deepest respect for the countless struggles that indigenous, peasant and Afro-descendant women, quilombolas, fisherwomen, and female artisans and healers have to confront to defend their territories and lives with dignity.
The destruction of forests and territories is not only capitalist and extractivist, but also patriarchal and racist!
For more information on women’s struggles in the forests, please click on the following link: https://wrm.org.uy/?p=338
For more information on women living in and around industrial tree plantations, please click on the following link: https://wrm.org.uy/?p=366