Women’s feelings, thoughts, and power

Women’s feelings, thoughts, and power
2021. Workshop on mental health and violence with an intergenerational group of indigenous women in the Department of Vaupés, Colombia. Photo: Emilia Cardenas © Sinergias ONG

Women’s feelings, thoughts, and power

Due to the systematic marginalization and scarcity of state services that guarantee their wellbeing, indigenous women in the Colombian Amazon have been confronted with gender violence, food instability, lack of access to basic health services, and lack of access to care and information about their rights. 

In response to these problems, indigenous women leaders in the region have been allies, joining forces to work for the well-being of rural and indigenous women in Colombia. In addition to the approach to maternal health with community health managers and leaders, support networks have been strengthened, birth plans have been proposed and good practices have been promoted. Similarly, alliances have been generated with health institutions to adapt their services and maternal-perinatal care protocols in response to the needs and worldviews of the women who come to the health centers.

The struggle for sexual and reproductive rights, with emphasis on the prevention and elimination of gender-based violence, has been fundamental. The department’s indigenous women leaders have opened conversations on situations of discrimination and violence experienced and sought support in the generation of resources to confront and prevent them. Thus, together, they have proposed community care routes for violence, in which they seek to strengthen the internal networks of the communities and institutional care.