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The Dream of Making a Living from the Land: Amazon Settler Women as Change Agents

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Naase, Karin Marita
Journal: Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi: Ciências Humanas
Volume: 4
Page(s): 247-260
Date: 2009
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/6973
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Social Organization
Region: South America
Subject(s): women
Amazon River region
land tenure and use
Abstract: "The purpose of this paper is to determine the role of women in the so called caminhada (march) to a land reform project in the State of Pará, Brazil. When a woman decides to join the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) (Landless Workers’ Movement) she may enter into conflict with her social environment. In the light of the changes happening due to her militancy, I want to elucidate the reasons for her involvement, examine female contributions during the settlement process and the changes this process may cause in their lives. The analysis is based upon a fieldwork conducted in a land reform hamlet near the city of Castanhal in northeastern Pará. Three case studies of female militancy are examined. Some of the outcomes of this analysis are that the role of women in this process is prominent because they are its most important support; they are assuming pioneer functions, organizing domestic and public tasks in the settlement and play the role of articulators between the different households. Due to their militancy poor urban and rural women are able to step out of their invisibility, often suffered in Brazilian society, and make an important contribution to the construction of a new life."

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