Afrodescendent women of Latin America are coming together to combat the common exclusion and marginalization they face in their respective countries.
The first Latin American Afrodescendent Women Leaders’ Summit taking place from Friday to Sunday in Managua, Nicaragua looks to unite women and organizations from the region to to adopt a shared political platform.
“Get all the details in real time following the hashtag #CumbreMujerAfro.”
Photo: 1st Summit of Afrodescendent Women Leaders of the Americas, June 26-28 in Nicaragua. Afrodescendents: Recognition, Justice, and Development.
The platform will be a women's activist network to share information, issues, and concerns centered around 17 interrelated themes including Black women's rights and protection, health, education, the environment, poverty reduction, and access to public services, among other issues.
According to organizers, at least 270 women from 22 different countries are expected to attend the inaugural summit, including community organizers, governors, judges, and other leaders.
“We have a very diverse representation of women,” said Dorotea Wilson, coordinator of the Network of Afroamerican, Afrocaribbean, and Diasporic Women that organized the summit.
Although activists recognize that their have been advances in Afrodescendent women's rights in the region, organizers say there are still great inequalities and injustices due to ongoing racial exclusion, discrimination, and violence that must be addressed.
“There must be laws to reduce this pandemic of aggression against us,” said Wilson, a Nicaraguan leader who works to give visibility to Afrocaribbean and Afro-Latina women.
“The coordination of the Network of Afrolatinamerican, Afrocaribbean, and Diasporic Women at the Afro-Women Summit.”
The regional UNDP project Afrodescendant Population of Latin America has identified the need to for improved cultural visibility and political recognition of Afro-Latinos' ways of life to combat socioeconomic inequality and unequal access to citizenship rights.
According to UNDP data, Afrodescendents make up between 20 and 30 percent of the population of Latin America. Due to the region's history of colonization, migration, and slavery, defining categories of race and identity can be complex.
Afro-Latinos, especially Afrodescendent women, face multiple socioeconomic barriers and are often disproportionately impacted by poverty. Afro-Latinos, women, and indigenous people are among the poorest and most marginalized in Latin America.