On Wednesday (08), the International Day of Struggle of Working Women, those affected by dams in Espírito Santo joined so many other comrades in the struggle marked by the slogan “For women’s lives, for rights, defeat the fascists”. At that moment, the streets of downtown Vitoria echoed the voices of women for a just society and against all types of violence. 

Within a program with  symbolic actions and protests, the affected women paid tribute in memory of the victims of the attack in the municipality of Aracruz in November 2022, especially the popular educator and also affected Flávia Merçon Leonardo, a moment also of denunciation of violence against women’s lives and a call for justice in relation to the crime. The event, held in the center of the capital, Vitória, lasted the whole afternoon and was attended by various feminist and popular movements and organizations. The Independent Technical Office (Assessoria Técnica Independente – ATI) of the Interstate Agricultural Development Association (Associação de Desenvolvimento Agrícola Interestadual – Adai) was present  at the invitation of and in support of the women affected.

For the victim Alexandra, who is from Colatina, “the return to the streets on March 8 represents the struggle for a better quality of life in every sense.” She also stressed the importance of public policies for mental health care, physical health care and care for the families affected. At the end of her speech, Alexandra, who is also a member of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB) stressed the importance of opposing arms and for a just society.

Marcia Maria, who is also affected, but from the territory of Colatina, said: “March 8 is symbolically a day to denounce in the streets the violence that women have been suffering in Brazil. But it’s also a day to highlight our role in organizing society.” She emphasized that the central axis of women’s struggles is the fight against violence and recalled Flavia, who was murdered at the hands of fascism. “Violence is physical, it’s mental, but it’s also the omission of the public authorities in not implementing policies that preserve and care for women’s lives in every way. Because when the necessary care is not provided, health, environmental and economic rights are violated . In the case of Samarco’s crime, it violated all these rights. Here’s a message to the public authorities to look at the lives and health of the women  affected, who are three times more affected than men.” He said.

To close the block of interviews, Regiane Alves, from Baixo Guandú, said: “Being on the streets on March 8 is a very important moment, because we’re not here to celebrate, but to denounce the crimes of the mining companies and dams. It’s been seven years of violations of our rights as women affected in our diversity as farmers, riverside dwellers, fisherwomen, shellfish gatherers and others,” she laughed. Regiane also denounced in her speech the other forms of violence that the women affected and all women in society are suffering and ended by calling for justice for Flávia and all the women victims of femicide.

The women affected continue to fight so that other “Flávias” don’t fall victim to fascism, sexism,  patriarchy and social inequality, leaving Flávia’s legacy as a seed. Your example of struggle and faith in education is already blooming today and will bloom tomorrow.

We recommend that people who are interested in reading about women and those affected access the Aedas website, where they can find the report on the damage suffered by those affected by the Brumadinho (MG) dam collapse : “Women’s Thematic Dossiers: chapter 2 brings together damage by thematic area“.  

Adai

Adai is a non-profit organization, founded in 1993 and operating nationwide, which began its work in the southern region of Brazil. Its mission is to represent and guarantee the defense of the rights of those affected by dams, through social assistance and the provision of technical assistance and rural extension services (ATER) to its members, most of whom are riverside families  or resettled. It has a technical team made up of various professionals from different areas of the humanities and agrarian sciences, at secondary, technical and higher education levels, who seek to promote education through training and stimulating work that encourages organization, participation and solidarity, as well as promoting social and economic development by fighting poverty through associative and cooperative actions.

 

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