It was just a few days ago that over four hundred women met in Waspam, the capital of an Indigenous region in Nicaragua. They came from communities across Nicaragua, from Mexico, from across Central America and beyond, drawn by the need to discuss solutions to violence against women.
Their conversation, in this 2nd Annual Forum on Indigenous Women from Wangki, soon covered a range of issues from community organizing strategies to influencing government actions. They debated important issues of climate change, racism, discrimination, traditional justice, art, culture, identity and, of course, violence against Indigenous women.
Although there remains much work to be done, there were also reasons to celebrate. Members of local and national government were present paying close attention to Indigenous women’s demands in Nicaragua.
The Forum also reaffirmed its commitments and achievements from last year, noting the positive impact their organizing efforts to date have had on Nicaragua and the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN). They specifically praised two new programs that were developed after the first forum; an investment in women’s health by the local government in June 2009, and a new youth program started by the local government in February 2009.
For more information about the Indigenous women’s movement to end violence against women, read this report produced by the International Indigenous Women’s Forum, a MADRE sister organization.
*Photo credit: Wangki Tangni