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News > Latin America

Latin America Celebrates Indigenous Women’s Day

  • Indigenous Ecuadorean women in Chimborazo.

    Indigenous Ecuadorean women in Chimborazo. | Photo: EFE

Published 5 September 2017

The holiday is celebrated in Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Venezuela.

Dressed in traditional clothing and dancing to ancestral music, women across Latin America are celebrating Indigenous Women’s Day.

Indigenous Women Led Environmental Struggle in 2016

The holiday, commemorated in Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Venezuela with festivals and artisanal markets, honors the contributions of Indigenous women across centuries.

In Chile, members of the National Women’s and Gender Equality Service, Sernam, and the National Indigenous Development Corporation invited 100 female entrepreneurs to participate in this year’s Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs Expo in the capital city of Santiago.

“We have the women and labor area, which carries out programs for female heads of households, women entrepreneurs and public and private companies and also trade unions, which are oriented to generate the tools for the economic autonomy of women,” Sernam director Laura Echeverria Correa said.

From Sept. 5-7, the Expo will exhibit timeless art pieces, such as Mapuche and Aymara silver jewelry, clothing and weavings as well as alimental medicines, chocolates and spices.

“In this way, training strategies are developed so that women can join and remain in the labor market or start a business of their own, associate with other women, share their own experiences, access care services and other government programs in the field of productive development," Correa explained.

The internationally-recognized holiday was first celebrated in 1983, in memory of Indigenous fighter Bartolina Sisa, wife of Tupac Katari. She was brutally murdered on Sept. 5, 1782 by Spanish royalist forces in Upper Peru.

Indigenous women activists also use the holiday to advocate against gender violence, discrimination and racism.

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