The women’s movement has been promoting another way of looking at records of events or personal accounts as “her story” instead of “history”. This is clearly an attempt to rectify historical accounts to include the perspectives, struggles and invaluable contributions of women. It is also to raise the voices of women and make them more visible, not only for the past but also for the present. “Her story” is now gaining more attention as part of the overall gender-equality goal being championed by women.
The indigenous women’s voices and “her stories”, as an integral part of the women’s movement and indigenous peoples’ movement, remain faint. This reflects the overall conditions of indigenous women as relatively more marginalized, discriminated against and dis-empowered at all levels. It also illustrates the urgent need to strengthen indigenous women’s organizations and institutions, as well as their leadership and effective participation, in all matters that concern them as women and as indigenous peoples.
This book, as a compilation of indigenous women’s “her stories”, is a reflection of the conditions and struggles on the ground of indigenous women. They are the stories of Afrida, Bua-Ban, Cristina, and 9 other indigenous women who are extra-ordinary women in their own right. They are in the hearts and minds of other women and villagers because of their suffering, struggles, sacrifices, commitments, dedication and lifetime achievements in advancing the dignity of women and indigenous peoples. This is now the second volume of her story produced by AIPP to amplify further the voices and struggles on indigenous women across Asia.
Their voices and their stories need to be heard and relayed. They echo the realities on the ground and their actions are inspiring reflections of what can be done. Their shared aspiration for equality and dignity for all needs the support of everyone. After all, the world will only be truly free if women and indigenous peoples are not discriminated against. When they are living with dignity and pride for who, and what they are and when they have recognition of their roles and contributions to society.
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