Middle Juruá: assembly discusses gender equality

Bringing important themes to the universe of rural women, such as equal rights, structural machismo and the promotion of menstrual health, the Association of Agroextractive Women of the Middle Juruá (ASMAMJ) held its annual assembly in March, bringing together 168 participants during three days in the community of Roque, located in the Extractive Reserve (Resex) Médio Juruá.

Both the place and the date were chosen for their symbology ? it was in Roque that ASMAMJ began to be structured 19 years ago. And the event ended on March 8, marking the celebrations of International Women's Day. To encourage mothers to participate in the meeting, the association provided a care area for children, with didactic material and painting.

Roque Community, Middle Juruá Extractive Reserve | Photo: Fernanda Preto/PTMJ

?Do we seek to make the women of the Middle Juruá feel represented, that they can discuss the guarantee of rights and have visibility in all the work they do, inside and outside the home, not just occupying auxiliary positions, but of protagonism?, says Quilvilene Cunha, treasurer of ASMAMJ.

One of the novelties this year was the menstrual health workshop, which took representatives of the ?Dona do Meu Fluxo? project, created by the organizations Korui Ciclos de Vida and Raízes, to talk to the participants.

The initiative was supported by the Medium Juruá Territory Program (PTMJ). Coordinated by Sitawi, the PTMJ partners with USAID/Brazil, the Bioversity Alliance/CIAT, the Partners for the Amazon Platform (PPA) and Natura. It has the strategic participation of ICMBio, the State Department for the Environment (SEMA), OPAN and local organizations as implementers, including ASMAMJ.

In the workshop, in addition to dealing with menstruation taboos and information about health and the female body, the entities donated menstrual cups, a kind of silicone cup that fits the woman's body, dispensing with the use of common pads. They are considered an economical and sustainable alternative, as they are reusable.

?It was a very important moment of the assembly. We brought new knowledge, since no one knew about menstrual cups. The approach to menstrual health generated a rich debate, with a lot of information and new practices that can transform not only the lives of these women but multiply for daughters, granddaughters, cousins. Did it make much difference?, reports Quilvilene.

There were also lectures on self-knowledge and self-care with the body in partnership with the Health Department of the municipality of Carauari (AM), which brought, among other things, information on family planning and how to avoid teenage pregnancy. Another partnership was with a beauty team, which provided hairdressing, manicure and makeup services.

?ASMAMJ has been going through a very important process of institutional maturation in recent years. Actions aimed at human development, self-knowledge and appreciation of women in the social context are part of the association's strategic planning. Is this approach recognized by associates as fundamental points for their engagement and for the appropriation of decision-making spaces?, evaluates Ronnayana Silva, PTMJ coordinator.

The men present at the assembly were invited to a moment of reflection and invited to a reserved space to discuss topics such as forms of violence, patriarchy and power relations. They recognized the impact of machismo on their daughters and wives and on men's physical and emotional health. Thrilled, the group positioned itself as an ally of women for a constant confrontation against prejudiced attitudes.

For Ronnayana, the invitation to men demonstrates well the main ingredient of the Middle Juruá, which is unity and cooperation among all.

Interaction – Young people were one of the themes present at the assembly during the presentation of the results of the ?Diagnosis of Gender and Youth in the Value Chains of the Middle Juruá” (read here), carried out by the association in partnership with the Juruá Institute, with the aim of telling the story and the importance of women in the main sustainable production chains, especially oils derived from Amazonian seeds and pirarucu.

Also follow the websites of PCAB and gives PPA.

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