Recently, our partner Tarcila Rivera Zea – President of the Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas (ECMIA) and of MADRE’s sister organization CHIRAPAQ – sat down with UN Women to discuss her participation in the 1996 Beijing World Conference on Women and the rights of Indigenous Women. 

Tarcila during the 2007 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Tarcila during the 2007 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

“After almost 20 years [since the Beijing Conference], we’ve been able to agree on the topic  of violence. We’re united, indigenous women from all parts of the world, and also with the women’s movement. We’re certainly not alone! So this is a great step forward, and the foundation for the future.

Today, we indigenous women have our own identity, our own voice. And I believe that we’ve broken the silence. We’ve tried to break the silence in the most private arena: the home, the family, the community. And we’ve worked considerably over the years, at national and international level, so that now we’re not ashamed to call ourselves indigenous women…”

“Based on the progress in international and national policies, we indigenous women want to be recognized, respected and included in actions affecting our lives. We want to participate fully. We don’t want decisions about the future of our lands, territories, natural resources, the right to food, health and education, to be taken without reference to us.”

Read more here.

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