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interview - Issue #12

Women of the Earth

An interview with Fabricia Sabanê
Translated by Le Guimarães

Fabrícia Sabanê is the coordinator of the Associação das Guerreiras Indígenas de Rondônia (AGIR), an organisation working alongside Indigenous women in the State of Rondônia, Brazil, to help them organise and protect their territories and cultures. They are the warrior women fighting for political action.

Can you tell me about AGIR and how it was created? What is your role within AGIR?

AGIR is an association of Indigenous women from 56 communities in the state of Rondônia. It was created in 2015 by the demand to have an organisation that gave greater visibility to Indigenous women - especially taking the struggle and aspirations of Indigenous women beyond the territories to municipal, state and national levels.

Currently, my role within AGIR is one of coordination - mainly of political coordination - representing women within the movement and participating in meetings. It involves health, education and the territory. But I also work a lot on the development of the workshops for Indigenous women - not only within the territory, but also for the women who live in urban areas, our relatives who are in areas undergoing demarcation and those who do not have their territory demarcated. We are always there to support them.

What is the struggle of Indigenous women?

With the current government [the 2019-2022 administration] - and not only the current government but other governments as well - our biggest concern is the protection of our territory. We see more and more loggers, miners and large farms that are invading and already inside our territories.

But we are also fighting for our health and our education, which lately has been very precarious. I think not only within my state, but in Brazil as a whole. The situation of Indigenous health and education is very bad, so this is also our struggle. And our struggle is to keep our rights, which, under the government are being harshly attacked by the ruralists’ bills. And more and more, we see that the bills they put on the agenda are precisely those of aggression against our rights. Mainly against our territories. We see that this is our biggest banner of struggle at the moment - our territories.

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