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Dos mujeres indígenas en la montaña, paradas junto a una pared de adobe. A lo lejos, una joven lava la ropa.

The term body-land-territory emerged from women’s fight for freedom from patriarchal and capitalist oppressions. It emphasizes the connection between gender-based violence and the dispossession of territory. Rape, abuse, femicide, and being stripped of land are related in that patriarchy and the destruction of natural elements are all part of the same system of thinking and domination.

In fact, the violation of children’s and indigenous and tribal women’s rights in places where megaprojects are implemented can take on the form of trafficking, prostitution, and slavery. In this sense, people cannot defend their territory or land without first defending their bodies.

Indigenous and tribal women are on the frontline in suffering from the effects of colonialism, invasion, and land dispossession. In the fights to control peoples and resources, their bodies are constantly threatened.  They have suffered and continue to suffer a double patriarchal oppression: internal and external. The internal oppression relates to the male chauvinism and sexism in their own communities. The external one comes from white or mestizo men who threaten women’s bodies and their communities from positions of privilege, in their government offices, in political parties, or transnational companies.

Consequently, fighting against these types of violence is a way to defend the Pachamama. In this perspective, defending their body-land-territory is a proposal that represents the emotional and spiritual healing of women who are fighting so that they may continue defending their body-territory and land-territory.


Reference for consultations: 

In-depth interviews with Elena López Maya and Dora Ramos García. 

Bibliographic references:

Eugenia López. 2018, 06). Lorena Cabnal: Sanar y defender el territorio-cuerpo-tierra.

Mina Lorena Navarro Trujillo & Raquel Gutiérrez Aguilar. 2018, 01). Diálogos entre el feminismo y la ecología desde una perspectiva centrada en la reproducción de la vida. Entrevista a Silvia Federici. 

Photo credit: stephen reich

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