International Women’s Day (or 8M) is a great opportunity to shine a light on the many women doing the work for gender equality year-round.
Let’s take Las Mujeres Amazónicas, for instance.
Las Mujeres Amazónicas (translated to the Amazonian Women) is a collective of Indigenous Ecuadorian women from the Amazon rainforest seeking to uplift women’s needs through empowerment. They also focus on preserving the natural resources of the Amazonian territories.
They educate from within and then take their efforts out in the outside world to continue to defend the fundamental elements of their daily lives, including their homeland. These Indigenous women work together despite the death threats and attacks they experience while they continue to fight for the health of their homes.
“Destroying the Amazon is the destruction of the world,” Gualinga, a member of Las Mujeres Amazónicas, is quoted by Amnesty International. “If they don’t realize that, we are lost.”
According to Amnesty International, between 2002 and 2003, Argentine oil company CGC forcibly entered the Sarayaku territory. It installed military and private security guards, opened roads, and cut down the forest, destroying trees and plants which were of great environmental, sacred, and cultural value to the Indigenous community.
The Sarayaku people experienced higher levels of danger as this company also buried 1,400 kilos of pentolite explosives in their territory. Their land was, evidently, compromised.
Thankfully, in 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled against the State of Ecuador for violating the right to physical integrity and endangering the right to life of members of the Sarayaku community. This was done through the advocacy of Las Mujeres Amazónicas and with the help of organizations, such as Amnesty International.
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International Women’s Day is important for the Ecuadorian Indigenous group, Las Mujeres Amazónicas
For the past few years, Las Mujeres Amazónicas have taken to the streets during International Women’s Day also known as 8M. This year is no different. They will be marching to raise awareness on equal treatment, domestic violence, and how they resist the detrimental effects of the patriarchy.
They take to the streets mainly wearing something purple, which is representative of the feminist movement as it represents the fight for women’s rights.
The Ecuadorian Indigenous collective of women, Las Mujeres Amazónicas, are an inspiration and a reminder of why it is important to show up for things that matter. Though they use 8M to augment their messaging, their efforts remain yearlong. Now, that’s what advocacy looks like.For Image credit or remove please email for immediate removal - firstname.lastname@example.org