From a Western and non-indigenous perspective, it was not common to associate the word "political’ with indigenous women," Maybe because of their little presence in participation scenarios or because it’s men who we’re used to seeing making decisions. However, it is necessary to rethink politics and think about how and from their traditional and contemporary roles indigenous women are active agents in political spaces?
In this regard, Juliana Sánchez, in charge of guiding gender issues in Gaia Amazonas, explains that, although men have been the legitimate representatives of their communities both in the rituals and cosmopolitical aspects -under the figure of the payé-, and in the political aspects of negotiation -under the figure of the captain or legal representative-, women leaders have always participated from their traditional roles and knowledge, since women’s autonomy comes from the beginning.
This is why, in Gaia Amazonas, we proposed a Women’s Policy that seeks to make visible the participation and contribution, that women have always made, with new agendas, specificities and explicit particularities.
Juliana also explains that in the last 10 or 15 years indigenous women have organized themselves within their associations with the so-called Women’s Sector or Women’s Area, from where they have undertaken endogenous research on their knowledge, implementing sustainable production projects, mobilizing female leadership and strengthening networks of work and mutual support.
Their reflection on representation in their governments and their participation in the environmental governance of their territories allowed the construction of the "Integral Women’s Policy," which contains the guidelines, principles, strategies and actions that express and empower the participation of indigenous women in their government,' she explains.
To this end, women have set out principles on which the programmatic intentions of women’s organizations are based:
1. Complementarity: Since good management of the world depends on men and women fully fulfilling their roles and complementing each other in a comprehensive manner. In other words, complementarity and interdependence are aspects that make life possible, and it is important to evaluate how relations between men and women are being lived in all areas of life: in everyday spaces, rituals and organization.
2. Women’s support networks: Good community coexistence depends on the positive and cooperative action of women in a community. These networks are expanded to include and articulate women from the communities of origin of each, in a network that connects them even with the Amazonian urban centers.
3. Chagra as a space of political power: From the chagra, women conserve biodiversity and ensure the necessary conditions for families and communities to have health when managing food, generate abundance and conserve knowledge about seeds, knowledge and practices that strengthen food sovereignty and autonomy.
4. The economy for well-being: It’s intention is to enabling the organization, the mobilization of leaders and the legitimacy of the female voice in political decision-making spaces. The economy for well-being is a felt need of indigenous women and is posed from the promotion of sustainable value chains according to cultural and eco-friendly systems of the context of the territories of their organizations.