Women in Resistance

When forests are destroyed, women in forest-dependent communities are hit hard: Their living conditions are particularly precarious; and providing food, medicine, materials and clean water becomes even harder. The traditional knowledge and wisdom that women pass down from generation to generation are also at risk. That is why women are often on the frontlines of the resistance to forest destruction.

A woman from the village of Mbonjo 1, Cameroon, which has witnessed the impact of industrial palm oil plantations and the constant presence of the military, calls for international solidarity and protection of right to life and freedom.

India’s programme to compensate for the destruction of forests for development projects is routinely setting up monoculture tree plantations on community commons. Women, who are mostly affected, are at the centre of its resistance.

The voices and stories of forest-dependent women are often rejected, unheard or silenced, which makes it easier for companies to grab community land. But what happens when they start to raise their voices?

Women suffer many types of violence committed by oil palm plantations companies’ employers, security forces, police and military, which subsequently reinforce patriarchy and their roles and relations within society in general. (Available in Indonesian).

The organization and sexual division of labor and job insecurity in single crop activities affect the health of female workers and territorial changes derived from this model of production directly affect women.

Plantations are increasingly surrounding and engulfing communities. Women must walk through company-occupied lands in order to seek their livelihoods. This, among other things, can cost them their lives.

The extractivist paradigm in Southern Africa threatens the lives and livelihoods of peasant communities, in particular women and girls: From the Tete Province in Mozambique, where women confront water scarcity and pollution to Zimbabwe’s Marange community, where militarised and often sexualised violence haunts women’s daily lives.