Female power and resistance, from the heart of the Chaco

From July 3 to 7, 200 indigenous and rural women from Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil met to debate and share experiences. During intense and valuable days of listening, reflection and dialogue, they discussed strategies for facing the impacts of climate change in the South American Chaco.

The meeting was held with the slogan “Our territory is our home: Towards just climate action in the South American Gran Chaco”. Throughout these five days, they spoke of the importance of their territories, where they carry out their lives and where they are historically the protectors of ancestral knowledge and the environment.

These women took the opportunity to talk about the common problems they face on a daily basis and also share the strategies they are developing to achieve changes that can restore rights. They suffer the impact of the environmental crisis in the context of multiple oppressions.

During the days of the meeting, working groups were organised to address issues such as:

  • Water: rights and security in the role of women environmental defenders, considering that the lack of access to water is part of these women’s daily lives.
  • Climate justice: gender and violence – appropriate conflict responses.
  • Critical and inclusive education/interculturality.
  • Territory: political construction – body of territory.

They spoke of the need to occupy decision-making spaces within their communities to be able to influence at the local and national level through proposals for solutions that include them transversally. They mentioned the need for leadership training, the use of technology, and, therefore access to the Internet. This will allow them to connect with each other and with government institutions in the occurrence of critical events that require rapid intervention.

They also shared their art through songs and dances in the context of the International Craft Fair that took place on July 6 and where they were also able to sell their products.

On the last day, they gave voice to their claims and demands through the reading of a collective statement crafted as a result of the working days. During the press conference they held, the women stressed the importance of defending their territories, protecting the environment and recognising their rights.

They advocated for equitable access to water, the fight against rampant extractivism and the promotion of sustainable practices that preserve their cultures and traditions. They reaffirmed their commitment to continue building alliances, strengthening women’s political participation and working together to generate significant changes in their territories.


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