Indigenous Women's Activism, Ecofeminism, and Extractivism: Partial Connections in the Ecuadorian Amazon


Sempértegui, Andrea. 2019. “Indigenous Women's Activism, Ecofeminism, and Extractivism: Partial Connections in the Ecuadorian Amazon.” Politics & Gender 1–28. doi: 10.1017/S1743923X19000023.

Author: Andrea Sempértegui


Over the last two decades, Latin America has witnessed a massive expansion of resource extraction. One of the most significant countermovements to emerge out of this context in Ecuador features a strong base and leadership of indigenous women from the Amazon. In their collective effort to resist extractivism, Amazonian women have drawn from elements of ecofeminist discourse and, in the process, situated their own claims within the broader indigenous territorial struggle. Ecofeminism has been transformed through this allyship as well, becoming more inclusive of indigenous women's perspectives. To shed light on these complex relationships, this article applies the framework of “partial connection” from feminist anthropology. It shows how postcolonial encounters between the state, missionaries, environmental activists, and indigenous communities in the Amazon carved out unique spaces for indigenous self-organization and politics. The historical analysis of such spaces, I argue, is crucial for grasping the allyship between Amazonian women and ecofeminists today. Rooted in a combination of positions that are partially, asymmetrically, and ambiguously connected, the allyship between Amazonian women and ecofeminists is best understood as a form of partially connected relationship.

Keywords: indigenous women, ecofeminism, state extractivism, environmental movements, indigenous politics, Ecuadorian Amazon

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2019

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