MAIN
Home
News
Intro
Maitreya
Background
Events
Media
Languages
Feedback
Archives
Updates
Site map
About us
Search
 Quick search
 

Print this page

Share International HomeShare International Home

 

 

 

 

Words of a Zapatista woman
by Carmen Font

Dalia, a member of the Zapatista freedom movement, explains the fight of Zapatista women for women's rights and the food, shelter, healthcare and education needed for their families to survive. 


Dalia is one of the two members of the EZLN (Zapatista freedom movement) who attended the Gathering for Humanity and against Neoliberalism. It is the first time that representative members of the EZLN have broken the military siege, left Mexico and attended an international meeting. These were her plain and meaningful words when explaining the fight of Zapatista women:

"I want to tell you in the first place that women from the rebel village Guadalupe Tepeyac are very strong. We don't surrender and we fight with dignity. Zapatista women think that not only men should have power, women have thoughts and ideas too. We, the women of Zapatista communities, see that our children don't have much to eat, nor a good house or clothes. We also see that our families don't have lands to bring in a good harvest. But apart from this, indigenous women don't have education. There are few women who can write and read. Neither do we have good health. 

"Many of us die while in labour, or of malnutrition. That's why we support and fight with the liberation movement, the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional. When our insurgent women colleagues came from the mountains to our villages they told us that we, women, have certain rights and that we have to fight to make everybody respect these rights. But the community has to respect these rights first, since everything stems from there. 

"Our insurgent colleagues taught us what this fight consisted of, and then the different communities discussed the laws of women in Zapatista villages. These laws say that women have the right to have a job, to earn money, to decide how many children we want to have, and to marry the man we want. Because it was not like this before. The women's laws say that those of us who want to be an integral part of the EZLN can join and be in charge, as men are. That's why all women now take part in meetings and decision-making sessions. And this is what we can tell you of our fight. We, the women of Zapatista communities see other women fighting in other countries, but for things we sometimes don't understand. But we also want to tell you that Zapatista women respect the thoughts of all of you".

From the July/August 1997 issue of Share International


More articles on social justice issues

Archives main index

Background information page

 


HomeTop of Page

HOME | INTRODUCTION | MAITREYA | BACKGROUND| EVENTS | SEARCH | FOR NEWS MEDIA | LANGUAGES | FEEDBACK | ARCHIVES | SI NEWS | ABOUT US | UPDATES TO THE SITE |

First published April 1999, Last modified: 15-Oct-2005