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3 March, 2015

Indigenous women convene in Lima in fight against systems of violence

Indigenous women met in Lima to discuss and prepare for the UN meeting to be held next week in New York.

Hillary Ojeda| Peru this Week |03 de marzo 2015.

Indigenous women met in Lima to discuss and prepare for the UN meeting to be held next week in New York. The 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women of the UN begins next week.

Indigenous women from over 20 countries convened in Lima to discuss violence against indigenous women in preparation for the meeting, “Indigenous Women and Beijing + 20.”

From March 2-4, indigenous women are holding a conference at the House of Spirituality Hermasie Paget of San Isidro, to discuss and elevate the struggle of indigenous women against violence.

As well the conference is in preparation for the larger meeting to be held in New York next week, the “Indigenous Women and Beijing + 20.” This meeting will be the converging point of leaders around the world presenting their demands to the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women of the UN. The Fourth World Conference on Women was the last of the major conferences that began initially in Mexico in 1975. The fourth took place 20 years ago, in Beijing.

herefore, women from the Latin America and the Caribbean regions convened in Lima to discuss the topic and bring more attention to the much ignored struggle against violence that indigenous women face, all over the world.

The three day conference in Lima has highlighted the recent UN study that reveals the current situation of women in Latin America and the Caribbean as the primary targets of violence. Issues of sexual violence, homicides, psychological abuse, displacement, disappearances, exclusion from justice, health and education systems are just a handful of the examples of violence they face.

ECMIA and CHIRAPAQ invited Peru this Week to a press release where indigenous women from Chile, Canada, Colombia, Panama, and Peru spoke on their individual and shared experiences of violence against indigenous women.

Alejandra Valdes (CHL) coordinator of the Observatory of Gender Equality of Latin America and the Caribbean of CEPAL-UN; Dawn Harvard (CA) of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC); Dayana Urzola Domico (CO) of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC); Dialys Ehman (PA) of the Alliance of Indigenous Women of Central America and Mexico; and finally Tania Pariona (PE) of the Network of Indigenous Youth Organizations of Peru (REOJIP) gave words of hope, profound sadness, and a strong will to fight.

Dawn Harvard of Canada shared a startling figure, that more than 600 indigenous women are reported missing in Canada. Tania Pariona of Peru as well divulged the situation in Guatemala, that nearly 24% of indigenous women have been victims of violence and in Ecuador and Peru the number reaches 30%.

The meeting in Lima is organized by the Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas (ECMIA) and CHIRAPAQ Association, Center for Indigenous Cultures of Peru, with support from the Ford Foundation.

ECMIA is a network integrating indigenous organizations in more than twenty countries, to fight to promote their participation in the development of public policies at the level of countries and the UN system.