Afro-Ecuadorian Women, Territory, and Natural Resource Extraction in Esmeraldas, Ecuador

Inge Boudewijn*, Juana Francis Bone, Katy Jenkins, Sofia Zaragocin

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Afro-descendant women in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, are amongst the most marginalized groups in the country. Living in a region severely affected by environmental degradation due to multiple and overlapping forms of resource extraction, they also face the impacts of drug trafficking conflicts crossing the Colombian border, as well as institutional and everyday racism. Many of these conditions are rooted in a long history of colonialism. In this article, we highlight the relative absence of Afro-Ecuadorian women’s voices, histories and experiences from research on resource extraction, and argue that Black feminist theoretical approaches provide an essential tool for understanding intersections of gender, race and activism, as well as (alternatives to) development, and the impacts of natural resource extraction in Ecuador. In so doing, the paper proposes a theoretical framework to open up spaces that situate Afro-Ecuadorian women’s knowledges at the centre of efforts to resist marginalization and extractivism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProgress in Development Studies
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Mar 2024

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