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News > Peru

'We Have The Right To Fight': Latin American Indigenous Women

  • The banner reads,

    The banner reads, "Deciding is a right for all," Mexico, Sept. 28, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @CentralQNoticia

Published 19 October 2021

The delegates condemned some "customs" that legitimize sexual assaults against women in their communities,  such as the rape of girls by parents, uncles, or siblings.

During the Second Summit of the Abya Yala Women held in Peru on Monday, 650 Indigenous women called on Latin American governments to adopt policies that guarantee their rights and condemn violence against them through a joint statement to be submitted to the United Nations (UN) Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.


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"Our societies often despise our rights and see us as sexual objects. However, we know for sure that we have the right to fight for our rights," said Lourde Huanca, the president of the Peruvian Federation of Indigenous Farmer, Artisan, and Worker Women.

She also condemned Indigenous "customs" that legitimize sexual assaults against women, such as the rape of girls by parents, uncles, or siblings. To compensate the victims, she demanded that regional governments enforce therapeutic abortion and establish proper sentences for this crime’s perpetrators. 

Indigenous women also called for respect for their food sovereignty, lands, traditional medicines, and treatments. In other remarks, the Peruvian delegates demanded that the State convene a constitutional assembly to pay its historical debt to Indigenous peoples.

"The new Constitution should recognize our identity, culture, and wisdom," they pointed out, adding that the constituent conventions of Chile and Bolivia are examples in this process.

In May, Abya Yala Indigenous women held their first summit in Bolivia and formed a defense committee to fight against violence and femicides.

The organizing associations plan to set up two annual meetings to discuss the challenges they face and to ensure that governments meet their demands. Guatemala and Mexico are likely to host the March and October 2022 summits, respectively.

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