Sunday, April 6, 2008

Esperanza Molina Rojas (Yaqui)

Autonomous womens' government

As challenge to Yaqui traditional authorities, the Yaqui community of Sarmiento is a special case. It is self-proclaimed "women's land", as it has an autonomous women's government which is not recognised by Yaqui authorities. In 1994 five women, coming from the suburbs of Hermosillo where Yaqui migrants live, decided to take a small piece of land around fifteen minutes from the city. "In traditional Yaqui government women can't be leaders or property holders", says Esperanza Molina Rojas, Governess of Sarmiento, "so we, as Yaqui women, decided to create our own community where we can make our own decisions". Today the community has grown to twenty families and through legal and civil society struggle the women have won title to the land. "Here, any woman with problems and the desire to solve them is welcomed", says Molina Rojas.