Rather Than Waiting, Indigenous Women in Brazil are Stepping up

Brazil’s indigenous women have been overturning tradition to step into the spotlight and lead an international push to defend their tribal land rights.

By Contributing Reporter/Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Brazil’s 850,000 indigenous peoples live on reservations that make up 13 percent of the territory.

Bolsonaro has said they live in poverty and he wants to assimilate them by allowing the development of their vast lands, currently protected by law.

The tribal leaders are fighting back - in many cases, led by women. Traditionally, indigenous cultures excluded women from leadership roles that were played by male tribal chieftains.

But that is changing, said Joenia Wapichana, who last year became the first indigenous woman elected to Brazil’s Congress and has been . . .

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