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Story Publication logo January 6, 2020

Women of the Xingu Unite Against Threats From Bolsonaro's Government (Portuguese)

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Movimento de Mulheres do Xingu.
English

It is the women who maintain indigenous culture and now they are also uniting to protect their lands...

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Watatakalu Yawalapiti, one of the female leaders of the Xingu Women's Movement. Image by Maria Fernanda Ribeiro. Brazil, 2019.
Watatakalu Yawalapiti, one of the female leaders of the Xingu Women's Movement. Image by Maria Fernanda Ribeiro. Brazil, 2019.

"People don't think about selling wood or land for money. We have so much support that we don't need to destroy anything." This statement was made by Anna Terra Yawalapiti, an Indigenous woman, during the opening speech of the first major gathering of the Xingu Indigenous Territory's women's movement. The event, in Mato Grosso, brought together 16 ethnic groups in May of 2019.

Feeling threatened by the Bolsonaro government's policies towards Indigenous peoples, and tired of seeing their role in the village restricted to household chores, the women decided to stop denying themselves the right to occupy spaces of power along with men. With the unified opinion that they want to walk side by side with their partners and relatives, "not in front and not behind," their goal is to become spokespeople for their own needs and desires.

Read the full story in Portuguese on the Mongabay website.

"A gente não pensa em vender madeira e nem vender uma parte da terra para conseguir dinheiro. Temos tanta coisa para conseguir apoio que não precisamos destruir nada." A declaração é da indígena Anna Terra Yawalapiti durante a fala de abertura do primeiro grande encontro do movimento de mulheres do Território Indígena do Xingu, em Mato Grosso, que reuniu 16 etnias em maio deste ano.

Sentindo-se ameaçadas pela política indigenista do governo Jair Bolsonaro e cansadas de ver seu papel na aldeia restrito a tarefas domésticas, elas decidiram não mais postergar seus direitos de ocuparem espaços de poder junto aos homens. Com o discurso unificado de que desejam andar lado a lado com seus parceiros e parentes, "e não na frente e nem atrás", o objetivo é de se tornar porta-voz de seus próprios anseios.