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The Declaration from the Fifth Annual Forum on Indigenous Women of the Wangki

The information below is provided by our sister organization, Wangki Tangi, in Nicaragua.

We come to Waspam, 954 women and men, youth, adults, grandmothers and grandfathers from all of the communities of Wangki, to meet from the 4th to the 7th of October, 2013, in the Municipal Sports Center and in the San Rafael Vocational Secondary School, brought together by the Wangki Tangni Mairin Asla Takanka Ta Upla Indigenous Organization.

We come from the indigenous territories of Li Lamni, Li Auhbra, Wangki Maya, Wangki Twi Tasba Raya, Wangki Awala Kupia, Kipla Sait Uplika, Mayangna Sauni Bu, Miskitu Indian Tasbaika, Mayangna Sauni As, AMASAU, Tasba Pri, Li Kipla Sait. The following organizations and coalitions have accompanied us in this process: Associations of Women from 9 indigenous territories, members of the North Atlantic Autonomous Regional Council- CRAAN, the Judicial Branch (Regional Court of Appeals, Local Court, Public Defense), the National Police Commission for Women and Children, the Republic's Women's Rights Office within the Human Rights Office, the Ministry of Health, the agencies of the United Nations systems: UNFPA, UNDP. We were also sponsored by the Catalan Cooperation for Development, UNFPA, Action Aid Denmark, FCAM, MADRE, San Lucas Foundation and FADCANIC.

We have representatives of the International Indigenous Women, the Alliance of Indigenous Women of Central America and Mexico, MADRE, MS Action Aid Denmark, NITLAPAN, FADCANIC, CADPI, TEBBTEBA, pastors, midwives, Volunteer Promoters against violence, Wihtas (indigenous Judges), Organization of Creative Women, the Network of Indigenous Youth of Central America and Mexico, the Network of Alternative Tourism of Mexico, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Coast to Coast, the Court of Appeals/Judicial System of RAAN. Representatives of the local, regional and national media are also present.

We meet in this Fifth Forum to strongly say: NO TO ANY FORM OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN FROM WANGKI. NO MORE SUFFERING, NO MORE DEATH FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS. We come to agree to solve problems that continue to exist in our communities, like maternal mortality, violence against girls and women, the impact of climate change, deforestation, and diseases related to our lifestyle. We've come to improve the coordination between the justice systems of the State and of the traditional communities so that girls and women have access to justice.

We've discussed topics that are very important in our lives and communities:

  1. The rights of indigenous women;
  2. Food security and family and community economic sustainability;
  3. Administration of justice and coordination between community and state judicial systems;
  4. Maternal mortality;
  5. Indigenous culture of the Wangki;
  6. Violence against indigenous women and girls;
  7. Climate change and biodiversity;
  8. Health, life and healing;
  9. Sexual and reproductive rights;
  10. Violence, security and protection;
  11. Young indigenous women and organizational strengthening;
  12. Community economy.
  13. Fighting malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases

As a result of the discussions, we've agreed on the following commitments:

  1. All of us need to work with MINSA (Ministry of Health), and with regional, municipal, territorial and community authorities so that not a single woman from the Wangki dies as a consequence of pregnancy and childbirth. We commit to ZERO MATERNAL DEATH IN WANGKI FROM 2014 ON.
  2. To move forward with the Judicial Branch, the National Police's Commission for Women, the Women's Rights Office at the Human Rights Office, CRAAN, territorial and communal authorities, the effective application of Law 779 and the Resolution of CRAAN on violence against women and girls, so that NOT A SINGLE girl and woman from the Wangki does not suffer from A SINGLE FORM OF VIOLENCE�we do no ACCEPT sexual, political, institutional, domestic, community, or economic VIOLENCE. WE WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY FORM OF VIOLENCE, WE WILL REPORT THEM AND WE WILL SEEK JUSTICE. We commit to unite forces for ZERO VIOLENCE AGAINST THE WOMEN OF THE WANGKI.
  3. We support the commitment of the Wihtas to fight for the eradication of violence against women; to prohibit the sale of girls to the powerful; to work closely with the justice system against business who enter the communities to sexually exploit girls; to remove violating teachers; to prevent sexual favors from being exchanged in return for the delivery of school supplies and grades; and to take action against the consumption of drugs and alcoholic beverages in the communities. We support the strengthening of Wihtas; their constant training; the non-interference of partisans in community elections; and the coordination with the Judicial Branch, the National Police, the armed forces, and the municipal and regional authorities.
  4. We, the people and the families, are the most important wealth of our communities. The Wangki is rich in traditional knowledge, knowledge of traditional medicine, management and protection of forests, creeks, lakes, rivers, and water. The knowledge and wisdom that we women and men have, we have learned through our languages, songs, dances, prayers, myths and stories. We should promote and take care of our culture and traditional knowledge. For this reason we should protect childhood, adolescence and youth. For this reason, we commit to stop the violations, negotiations and sale of our girls. We demand punishment for those who abuse their power to violate our girls. Therefore, we commit to zero violations and sale of girls in our communities.
  5. Health is important to the Laman Laka and Pain Iwanka in our communities, including sexual and reproductive health. We cannot allow HIV-AIDS, MALARIA, TUBERCULOSIS or LEPTOSPIROSIS to keep increasing. We demand that MINSA, the CRAAN and authorities in the communities coordinate with the women's organizations and local authorities in order to change this situation.
  6. Without education there is no WANGKI. We will not allow that teachers do not fulfill their responsibilities; school absenteeism must end. We commit to working with the Wihtas, local authorities, Human Rights Office and the CRAAN in order to take steps against the absenteeism of teachers, to ensure retention in school and eradicate illiteracy among the women of the Wangki.
  7. The land, our territory, is the wealth of our towns. We must stop deforestation; the contamination of rivers, creeks, lakes and the destruction of natural resources. We must protect land titles, food production, seeds. We call on the government to work with the Honduran government so that we have planting areas and food production as we did before. It is necessary that international cooperation organizations consider investing in the Wangki area. We women will not tolerate the illegal sale of our territories. Therefore, we commit to zero selling of indigenous territories, zero deforestation and to recover all of our destroyed forests.
  8. The Forum of Indigenous Women of the Wangki allows us to continue learning�to continue promoting changes to improve the lives of women and girls, it serves to interact and exchange with women from other communities, other towns. It allows us to interact with authorities, to seek solutions to our problems. Therefore, we commit to monitor the implementation of the agreements from the Fifth Forum, to continue strengthening our women's organizations, to continue working with the Wihtas and authorities. We demand that the CRAAN, the Women's Commission at the Police, the Women's Rights Division at the Human Rights Office, Wihtas, UNFPA, UNDP, of all the organizations to continue to support the implementation of the Forums and the organization and realization of the Sixth Forum of Indigenous Women of the Wangki in 2014.
  9. We thank everyone who made this Fifth Forum of Indigenous Women of the Wangki possible: UNFPA, CRAAN, the Catalan Cooperation for Development, MS Action Aid Denmark, FCAM, MADRE, CADPI, FADCANIC, FUNDACION SAN LUCAS, MARAZUL.

Today, we, the participants of the Fifth Forum of Indigenous Women of the Wangki, are raising our voices, demanding the respect and enforcement of our rights. We reaffirm these commitments, demanding a full, happy, healthy life without violence in our communities.

Adopted on the 7th of October, 2013 at the Municipal Sports Center of Waspam