The escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel is leaving people in Gaza in urgent need of humanitarian support. Please donate now.

Available documents

No available documents

Oxfam Policy & Practice provides free access to Gender & Development and Development in Practice journal articles.

Download from publisher


Understanding the coloniality of gendered lives, family dynamics, social arrangements, and political structures in Indigenous communities begins with confronting and interrogating a history written largely by and for men in positions of power. The archives are limited in terms of what can be gleaned about gender equality and what existed before the proliferation of European patriarchy. Indigenous Wixárika people tread a delicate balance between a lifeworld that is organised around a ritual–agricultural cycle, and the accelerating incorporation of the imperial mode of living and the coloniality of being, into their communities and culture. The ‘coloniality of gender’ explains how Indigenous women and men have been drawn into and shaped through contact zones, these sites of imperial intervention that have brought social, cultural, and structural changes to gender. Problematically, this concept assumes a one-way process of domination, whereby modern European power structures were imposed on Indigenous people. A critical exploration reveals how gender dynamics and equality were influenced by a much messier process, entangled with Wixárika’s cultural and religious systems as well as the leveraging of political collateral. This paper will draw on findings from a historical and ethnographic study of the coloniality of gender in Indigenous Wixárika communities. We will critically examine archival evidence alongside oral histories to suggest how social, development, and political interventions from the late 20th century challenge the idea of the ‘coloniality of gender’, and discuss how past and present actants collide and dialogue to bring about social change and greater gender equality.




How to cite this resource

Citation styles vary so we recommend you check what is appropriate for your context.  You may choose to cite Oxfam resources as follows:

Author(s)/Editor(s). (Year of publication). Title and sub-title. Place of publication: name of publisher. DOI (where available). URL

Our FAQs page has some examples of this approach.

Related resources

Here are similar items you might be interested in.

Browse all resources