IN SOLIDARITY WITH WOMEN IN COMMUNIDADES OF GOA
On 16 th January 2024, women representing different walks of life met in Panaji to express solidarity
with the women in the Communidades of Goa for proposing inclusivity of all genders as descendants
at the Convention of Communidades held on 14 th Jan 2024.
As per the agenda of the Convention, Ms. Maria Lina Gama Martins, Attorney of Verna
Communidade, pointed out that women are prevented entry at the membership stage of the
Communidade as per para 1, Article 20 of Code of Communidade and proposed that
i) ‘and their male descendants by male linegage’ be dropped and amended with ‘and their
descendants by lineage’
ii) That all descendants of Gaonkars, irrespective of gender receive the Zonn from their
Other speakers Ms. Saadia, Treasurer of Chinchinim Communidade, supported the resolution.
While women can be shareholders in some communidades, daughters of Gaonkars cannot be
members in some communidades as sons can. This, while women toil on the land and in the fields
along with men.
We support the women who spoke for inclusivity of women in the Code of Communidade.
However there were some male delegates who used the platform of the Convention to ridicule,
demean and insult the women. They were heckled by some male delegates.
The male delegates digressed outside the scope of the Code of Communidade, talking instead about
cooking, cleaning and bearing children.
The Communidade Commission neither restrained the male offensive speaker on the stage or the
hecklers offstage, nor objected to the offensively patriarchal and irrelevant statements such as
“women should go to their traditional roles in the kitchen and bear children”.
We strongly condemn this intimidation and assault on the freedom of women to speak.
Women of Goa have played a stellar role in protecting land and natural resources in various
movements. Women have held important financial and administrative responsibilities in public offices
as Collectors, Administrators, headed high political offices of the President, Prime Minister, Chief
Minister, Sarpanchs to list but a few.
We salute women who work to empower other women.
Discriminatory attitudes, laws and social practices have already resulted in the declining sex ratio of
girls in Goa. It is matter of concern that Goa has a skewed sex ratio of 838 girls to 1000 boys.
We specifically call out to address these within the scope of the Code of Communidade so as to
arrest this worrying statistic and restore parity.
We welcome the resolution at the Convention to deliberate meaningfully on the issue of
membership of women. It should be time bound. Women must be included in the deliberations
and safe spaces need to be created, communicated, maintained through the course of
deliberations, particularly given what has unfortunately been allowed to play out in the