Women Defenders

Empowered women leaders are taking action to defend the Ecuadorian Amazon against oil exploitation.


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Meet the Amazonas

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“Let’s stand up. It’s time to open our eyes. It’s time to come together in one heart, pure and strong. It’s time we rise again.”

— Ena Santi, from the community of Sarayacu   

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As female givers of life, the women from the Amazon have felt a responsibility to lead the fight against impending oil drilling and the destruction of the pacha mama, or life-giving mother earth.

  • In this captivating series of portraits, photographer Felipe Jacome profiles nine indigenous women who exercised their strength, voice, and power in order to defend the Ecuadorian Amazon against oil exploitation.
  • Nearly 300 women from seven different indigenous tribes of the Ecuadorian Amazon embarked on a 219 km march to the country’s capital to ask the central government to spare their ancestral lands from its aggressive oil and mining policies.
  • Several days later, the women arrived in Quito carrying their toddlers, their faces painted with natural dyes in beautiful patterns and symbols, with the same determination with which they departed.
  • Although Ecuadorian public opinion overwhelmingly praised the bravery of the marching women, President Rafael Correa refused to meet with them.

About Felipe:  Felipe Jácome is a documentary photographer born in Ecuador. His most recent work aims to document the work of female activists around the world through the creation of “visual testimonies,” by combining portraiture with the women’s written testimonies and artistic expressions, allowing them to re-appropriate their images and narratives. Felipe’s work has been exhibited in London, Geneva, Amsterdam, Quito, and DC.

4GGL thanks Imagining Equality for this inspiring story.

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Imagining Equality is an online media project exploring the art, voices, and stories of women from around the globe.

Sponsored by The International Museum of Women,
which is part of Global Fund for Women.

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