Creation of the first Women's Program of the Regional Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the East fosters gender equity

Posted on 08 August 2023
We commemorate the International Day of Indigenous Peoples by celebrating the creation of the Women's Program of the Regional Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the East (ORPIO) in Loreto, as a technical space that will allow us to articulate the work with a gender approach in the various activities of the organization.

In this way, ORPIO joins other indigenous federations such as the Coordinadora de Pueblos Indígenas de San Martín (CODEPISAM), Federación Nativa del Río Madre de Dios y Afluentes (FENAMAD) and Organización Regional Aidesep Ucayali (ORAU), which have been implementing this program for several years.

For this reason, 2023 is a year of great importance for the indigenous women of eastern Peru. ORPIO's women's program will be built in a participatory manner and women will be the protagonists of the discussion and reflection spaces. In this way, their desires, needs, environment and role will be considered in order to create a plan that best responds to the future beneficiaries.

To achieve this goal, the greatest obstacle in the region, connectivity, must be overcome. They travel long distances from their communities of origin to the city of Iquitos to get to the planning workshops. Some women have to travel up to 06 days round trip, which implies for them to neglect their responsibilities at home and in the community. It is not only a question of distance; the lack of internet coverage and the rains are other agents that make this process more challenging in Loreto than in other areas of Peru.

"Regions such as Madre de Dios have made greater progress on gender issues due to the ease of mobilization to spaces where capacity building on these issues can be strengthened. Providing support to ORPIO to overcome these barriers and promote the rights of indigenous women fills us with satisfaction," says Edith Condori, WWF-Peru's forestry and indigenous affairs specialist.

"This is the beginning of important changes in favor of indigenous women's rights, we continue to fight against machismo and the lack of knowledge on women's rights issues. This is an opportunity to encourage more women to strengthen their capacities, support them to assume leadership and demonstrate that we can support the defense of our territories from our vision," says Teresita Antanzú, leader of the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest (Aidesep) and promoter of the Women's Program in this organization.

30 years ago, when Teresita began to take the lead in community initiatives, access to education, having a say in decision-making spaces or mobilizing beyond delimited borders was unthinkable. Today, the way in which ORPIO's Women's Program is being created reflects the important advances in women's rights.

In this process, it is expected that the strategic plan of ORPIO's Women's Program will complete its elaboration, socialization and participatory validation in October of this year. The aim is to strengthen its governance structure, its capacities and provide tools to improve conditions in the analysis and decision-making spaces, in order to generate consensus and greater participation and recognition of the role of women.