Onward with the Cordillera Indigenous Women’s Struggle for Liberation, Democracy, and Self-Determination


Castro-Palaganas, Erlinda. 2010. “Onward with the Cordillera Indigenous Women’s Struggle for Liberation, Democracy, and Self-Determination.” Signs 35 (3): 550–58.

Author: Erlinda Castro-Palaganas


To the women of the Cordillera region in the Philippines, the present situation is a lingering source of new problems and challenges. The vast natural wealth of the Cordilleras has been the target of state development aggression. This development thrust is anchored to globalization policies such as privatization, deregulation, and liberalization, and the effects have impoverished, not improved, people’s lives. The corporate mining and logging operations arising from the government’s national mineral liberalization program have not only destroyed the environment but violated indigenous people’s rights. To the indigenous peoples ancestral land is not just a home but their survival. The resulting faces of hunger and poverty, militarization, violence, migration, oppression, and displacement, among many other issues, have profoundly affected women’s well being. But on the other hand, these situations have also pushed women to join other sectors to defend their rights and continue their struggle for self‐determination. The history of indigenous women’s activism in the Cordillera shows decades of militant work with nongovernment organizations, support groups, and advocates. Innabuyog, an alliance of women’s organizations in the Cordillera region, has taken on the struggles of the women of the Cordillera and their enduring resistance and fighting spirit to protect their land, life, and resources. The Cordillera women’s collective struggle for liberation, democracy, and self‐determination is and will be a continuing challenge for as long as women’s rights in the Cordillera are violated.

Topics: Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Globalization, Indigenous, Land Grabbing, Political Participation, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 2010

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.