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Indigenous Rights

Land Tenure and Forest Rights of Rural and Indigenous Women in Latin America: Empirical Evidence


Bose, Purabi. 2017. "Land Tenure and Forest Rights of Rural and Indigenous Women in Latin America: Empirical Evidence." Women's Studies International Forum 65: 1-8.

Author: Purabi Bose


Latin America's land-use and communal forests needs a better understanding through a lens of women. This research article aims to examine Latin America's secured individual land tenure legal reforms and communal rights in indigenous territories. Two empirical case studies are presented to assess the current dynamics of rural women's land title rights in coffee agroforestry under Colombia's new Formalización Propiedad Rural program, and indigenous Quechua women's communal forest land rights for indigenous foods like kañawa and quinoa farming in highland Bolivia. In doing so, it also gives an introduction to the five empirical research papers that are part of this Special Section edited by the author. The specific case studies are from the Brazilian Amazon, Bolivia's Gran Chaco area, Nicaragua's indigenous territories and two studies from Mexico – one from Oaxaca's central valley and the other is based on smallholder farming in Calakmul rural area. In conclusion, the author discusses the need to prioritise women's role in individual land rights and communal forest tenure in Latin American countries. 

Keywords: Latin America, communal forests, indigenous peoples, women, land tenure, food security, joint titling, Brazilian Amazon, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and Nicaragua

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua

Year: 2017

Indigenous Women, Climate Change Impacts, and Collective Action


Whyte, Kyle Powys. 2014. “Indigenous Women, Climate Change Impacts, and Collective Action.” Hypatia 29 (3): 599–616.

Author: Kyle Powys Whyte


Indigenous peoples must adapt to current and coming climate‐induced environmental changes like sea‐level rise, glacier retreat, and shifts in the ranges of important species. For some indigenous peoples, such changes can disrupt the continuance of the systems of responsibilities that their communities rely on self‐consciously for living lives closely connected to the earth. Within this domain of indigeneity, some indigenous women take seriously the responsibilities that they may perceive they have as members of their communities. For the indigenous women who have such outlooks, responsibilities that they assume in their communities expose them to harms stemming from climate change impacts and other environmental changes. Yet at the same time, their commitment to these responsibilities motivates them to take on leadership positions in efforts at climate change adaptation and mitigation. I show why, at least for some indigenous women, this is an important way of framing the climate change impacts that affect them. I then argue that there is an important implication in this conversation for how we understand the political responsibilities of nonindigenous parties for supporting distinctly indigenous efforts at climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Indigenous Rights

Year: 2014

In the Shadows of the Extractive Industry: A Hard Road for Indigenous Women


Amancio, Nelly Luna. 2015. “In the Shadows of the Extractive Industry: A Hard Road for Indigenous Women.” ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America 15 (1): 71–75.

Author: Nelly Luna Amancio


“The social impacts of the extractive industries are complex, but seldom studied. 'The extractive industry modifies gender relationships. They pay the workers well, but women have very little say in the use of this money,' Balbuena explains. Excluded from decision making, the indigenous woman becomes a passive subject of the impact of the extractive industries and the resulting social change. 
“The extractive industries affect indigenous women in many ways. 'Water pollution is one of the main concerns of the indigenous women. With the loss of quality of this resource, the ability to guarantee her family’s health is greatly diminished,' says anthropologist Óscar Espinosa, a professor at the Catholic University of Peru who recently investigated the impact of oil exploration on two communities in the Amazon region of Bajo Marañón” (Amancio, 2015, p. 73).

Topics: Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2015

We are the face of Oaxaca: Testimony and Social Movements


Stephen, Lynn. 2013. We Are the Face of Oaxaca: Testimony and Social Movements. Durham: Duke University Press.

Author: Lynn Stephen


Lynn Stephen uses the Oaxaca social movement of 2006 to illustrate how oral testimony is central to rights-claiming, participatory democracy, knowledge creation, and the production of new political subjects in contemporary social movements. (Summary from WorldCat)

Table of Contents:

1. Testimony: human rights, and social movements

2. Histories and movements: antecedents to the social movement of 2006

3. The emergence of the APPO and the 2006 Oaxaca social movement

4. Testimony and human rights violations in Oaxaca

3. Community and indigenous radio in Oaxaca: testimony and participatory democracy

4. The women's takeover of media in Oaxaca: gendered rights "to speak" and "to be heard"

5. The economics and politics of conflict: perspectives from Oaxacan artisans, merchants, and business owners

6. In indigenous activism: the triqui autonomous municipality, APPO Juxtlahuaca, and transborder organizing in APPO-L.A.

7. From barricades to autonomy and art: youth organizing in Oaxaca.

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Political Participation, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2013

Land Grab: Green Neoliberalism, Gender, and Garifuna Resistance in Honduras


Brondo, Keri Vacanti. 2013. Land Grab: Green Neoliberalism, Gender, and Garifuna Resistance in Honduras. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Author: Keri Vacanti Brondo


This is a rich ethnographic account of the relationship between identity politics, neoliberal development policy, and rights to resource management in native communities on the north coast of Honduras. It also answers the question: can freedom be achieved under the structures of neoliberalism?" (Summary from WorldCat)

Table of Contents:

1. Identity, Labor, and the Banana Economy

2. Development and Territorialization on the North Coast

3. Mestizo Irregularities, Garifuna Displacement, and the Emergence of a "Mixed" Garifuna Community

4. Gendered Rights and Responsibilities: Privatization and Women's Land Loss in Sambo Creek

5. Representing the Garifuna: Development, Territory, Indigeneity, and Gendered Activism 

6. Roots, Rights, and Belonging in Sambo Creek 

7. "Businessmen Disguised as Environmentalists": Neoliberal Conservation in Garifuna Territory

8. Research Voluntourism as Rights-Based Conservation: Could It Work?

9. Neoliberalism's Limit Points in Post-Coup Honduras 

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Women, Land grabbing, Political Participation, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Honduras

Year: 2013

Male Honor and the Ruralization of HIV/AIDS in Michoacán. A Case of Indigenous Return Migration in Mexico: AIDS and Migration in Rural Mexico


Rosete, Daniel Hernández. 2012. “Male Honor and the Ruralization of HIV/AIDS in Michoacán. A Case of Indigenous Return Migration in Mexico: AIDS and Migration in Rural Mexico.” International Migration 50 (5): 142–52. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00642.x.

Author: Daniel Hernández Rosete


The purpose of this text is to analyse the motives of seasonal migrant workers for attempting to get their wives pregnant when they return to Mexico. The meanings attributed to paternity, pregnancy and rearing are analysed from the perspective of the migrant worker and his wife. Ethnographic research was conducted in several Purépecha communities in Michoacán, supported by interviews with indigenous, who travelled to the United States for periods of up to three years, and with their wives, who stayed in Mexico. The migrant workers interviewed consider pregnancy and the paternity derived from it as an important means of male legitimization and sexual control of their wives, particularly valid in their rural communities of origin, where they know they are absentee males. When they return to Mexico they seek sexual relations for reproductive purposes, since they fear their wives will have extramarital relations in their absence. From these findings, it was considered necessary to implement sexual and reproductive health policies with pluri-ethnic and gender approaches that take into account male beliefs and practices regarding paternity and pregnancy in a rural context. The development of sensitizing policies aimed at migrant males during their stays in Mexico is recommended.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Health, HIV/AIDS, Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2012

Northern Crises: Women’s Relationships and Resistances to Resource Extractions


Stienstra, Deborah. 2015. “Northern Crises: Women’s Relationships and Resistances to Resource Extractions.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (4): 630–51. doi:10.1080/14616742.2015.1060695.

Author: Deborah Stienstra


Using feminist disability studies and intersectionality, this article draws upon the ongoing resource extractions in Labrador, Canada to argue for examining local communities and relationships as one way to understand gender and global social, economic and environmental crises. The article explores how crises in Labrador have been constituted and maintained around global agendas of economic and resource development, historical and current colonial practices and a limited and constrained international relations with local Indigenous nations. The lives of women and their communities in Labrador illustrate one wave of a global crisis that extinguishes diversity and connection to the land in a race to extract natural resources, maintain global military power and gain profit in the global economy. The actions over the past thirty years by NATO and the Canadian federal, provincial and municipal governments, coupled with transnational mining corporations such as Vale, have “normalized” crisis in the communities and reduced the capacity of these communities and Indigenous nations to respond to the issues arising as a result of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development project. Yet the women and their communities illustrate their agency and reject an analysis of them exclusively as victims. Together with researchers and activists, the women in Labrador have built a community of practice in the Feminist Northern Network.

Keywords: feminist disability studies, indigenous, intersectionality, resource development, hydroelectricity

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Economies, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Globalization, Political Economies, Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2015

Gender, Sovereignty, and the Discourse of Rights in Native Women's Activism


Barker, Joanne. 2006. “Gender, Sovereignty, and the Discourse of Rights in Native Women’s Activism.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism 7 (1): 127–61.

Author: Joanne Barker


The article examines the 1983 and 1985 amendments and the activism that led to their development and passage as an instance of the constitutive relationship of gender and sovereignty. The conflicts surrounding gender politics and women's rights in Native sovereignty movements is discussed. A forum for thinking about the kinds of social reformations that are needed to bring about social equity for men and women in Indian communities is provided.

Topics: Gender, Women, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2006

Depoliticised Speech and Sexed Visibility: Women, Gender and Sexual Violence in the Guatemalan Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico Report


Rosser, Emily. 2007. “Depoliticised Speech and Sexed Visibility: Women, Gender and Sexual Violence in the 1999 Guatemalan Comisión Para El Esclarecimiento Histórico Report.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 1 (3): 391–410. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijm032.

Author: Emily Rosser


This paper analyses how concepts of gender, sexual violence and women functioned within the 1999 Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH). Through a discourse analysis of the text of the CEH report, I argue that because the Commission presents data about sexual violence without a more broadly integrated gender analysis, it fails to recognise indigenous women, or their claims, as political and thus reinforces their marginality. I situate this report in the context of universalising discourses of human rights and democratisation, in which women's participation is held up as evidence of gender correctness while what they say is often of less concern. Amidst calls for gender mainstreaming and ‘women's rights as human rights,’ truth commissions and human rights bodies must work harder at the conceptual level to interrogate how gender, ‘race,’ class, nation and other intersecting oppressions are at work, both during a genocide and afterwards, in the construction of truths and the reconstruction of societies.

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Race, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2007

Clamor for Justice: Sexual Violence, Armed Conflict and Violent Land Dispossession


Méndez Gutiérrez, Luz and Amanda Carrera Guerra. 2015. Clamor for Justice: Sexual Violence, Armed Conflict, and Violent Land Dispossession. Equipo de Estudios Comunitarios y Acción Psicosocial - ECAP.


Authors: Luz Méndez Gutiérrez, Amanda Carrera Guerra


Table of Contents:
I. The Social Context
The current context
Historical contexts of the two episodes of sexual violence analyzed in this book
II. Indigenous women: oppression and emancipation
Land dispossession-rape: a recurring dyad throughout history
Resistance and rebellion
III. The women protagonists of this study in their space and time
IV. The Women of Sepur Zarco
Human Rights Violations
The consequences
The Sepur Zarco women’s struggles for justice
V. The Women of Lote Ocho
Human rights violations
The Lote Ocho women’s struggle for justice 
VI. Q’eqchí women’s perceptions of community justice
Comparing community justice with state justice
Community justice: affected by unequal gender relations
VII. Conclusions

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Civil Society, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Health, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, SV against women Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2015


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