Federal representative Célia Xakriabá (Socialism and Freedom Party – Minas Gerais) presented before the Chamber of Deputies, this Monday the 11th, a proposal that seeks to combat violence against indigenous women in Brazil. The text, already called bill (PL) 4381/2023, establishes the procedures that police units and other bodies of the public security system must adopt to care for victims with this profile. The proposal aims to combat all types of violence, such as physical, psychological, sexual, verbal, patrimonial, moral and political aggression.
The bill provides for specialized monitoring, whose roadmap includes everything from assistance at police stations to the procedural orientation stage, in cases where a protection measure is requested. It also creates the so-called “Multidisciplinary Support Network”, which may include “members of civil society, popular lawyers, psychologists, anthropologists, social workers and the like.”
The idea is to promote an association between the network and public power through a technical cooperation agreement so that adequate monitoring of care for victims is carried out. This surveillance must include emergency procedures, health care, as well as actions in the areas of public security, justice and social assistance network.
“The bill aims to cover all indigenous women who put their body, mind and heart into protecting their own lives and caring for the environment. We understand that, in addition to the violence listed by the Maria da Penha Law (which combats violence domestic and family violence against women), indigenous women are still prone to being victims of political violence, since they are protectors of the territories, of Mother Earth. Therefore, they often need to fight against the machismo embedded in the communities to that the people resist and survive,” said Xakriabá in the text justifying the project.
The proposal also provides for the promotion of actions such as conversation circles, debates and talks with guidance on the concept of violence against indigenous women. The text determines that there are interpreters within the communities to disseminate this type of information among women. “We foresee, for example, the presence of more than one interpreter in cases of violence, since it is possible that only one is a family member/friend of the aggressor and questions the word of the victim,” argues the deputy in the text of the PL.
The project creates the so-called “Agenda of Care for Indigenous Women” and an annual calendar of events related to the issue, with plans to carry out joint assistance efforts. The PL does not mention specific dates for these actions. The text also provides for the provision of a national telephone service designed specifically to receive and forward complaints of violence against indigenous women. The service must have connections with specialized police stations and the Public Ministry, in order to facilitate the opening of case investigation procedures.
“It will not compete with the Maria da Penha Law. We continue to die and be violated inside and outside the territories. Our body needs respect and needs to be visible in this death process. We do not want other girls and women to go through this,” said Braulina Baniwa, from the National Articulation of Indigenous Women, Warriors of Ancestralities (Anmiga).
Chief Irê, from the Jenipapo-Canindé people, who lives in Ceará, drew attention to the fact that violence against women in traditional communities is a phenomenon directly related to the cultural influence of the non-indigenous population in these territories, a movement that results directly from the process of European colonization.
“For us, this issue of gender violence within the territory is something very colonizing. Some people still have in their heads (the idea) that treating a woman badly is cultural, and it is not. We come to demystify and say that this “It is not culture. Our ancient people did not teach us to violate, to practice this type of violence that indigenous women suffer in their territories.”
The bill was announced by Célia of Indigenous Women – Women-Biome in Defense of Biodiversity for Ancestral Roots”. In total, 500 members of traditional communities gathered at the House for a solemn session that paid tribute to the march. The PL was mentioned as one of the initiatives on the political agenda of the event participants.
Edited: Nadini Lopes and Thalita Pires