We, the Women from the People's Summit

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We, the Women at the People's Summit

Monday morning was reserved for the Women’s March at the People’s Summit.

As a former student of international relations, I've always wondered about the real meaning of the UN Charter beginning “We, the people of the United Nations”. Far from questioning the strategic importance of International Law to political changes in national scenarios, it always sounded to me a bit pretentious a couple of Head of States reclaiming themselves as the people of all nations united.

In times of Rio +20, this question returned to my mind when my city and the major media focused all its attention to a conference of Head of States, that probably have never gone to a vulnerable area in terms of sustainability in their home countries.  Maybe that’s why, even before the Conference which will approve a statement started, there were already low expectations and engagement from the civil society on it.

We need to reflect on how far the Rio +20 represents (or not) the demands and goals of the set of people that cohabit our planet: people from the rainforests, the arid regions, the fisher women and men, African-descendent communities, among many others.

Yesterday, nearly five thousand women and men gathered at the Women’s March in the People's Summit. Our goal was to get the attention of our leaders, who pretentiously try to speak for all people, that, in all the different communities and territories, women unarguably are the key actors in the transition to a sustainable system - socially and environmentally. With placards, songs and banners we denounced how current  policies violate our women’s human rights and how a meanless final document can intensify these violations. On the video above, women speak for themselves*.

*Special thanks to Ana Paula, Jéssica, Ana Beatriz and Pedro Mundim