September 5th: International Day of Indigenous Women

    The date is established in honor of the death of the indigenous heroine Bartolina Sisa

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    September 5th was the date chosen to establish the International Day of Indigenous Women.

    Commemoration that was born during the Second Meeting of Organizations and Movements of America gathered in Tihuanacu, Bolivia, in 1983.

    The idea was to recognize all the brave indigenous women who have played and will continue to play an important role in the survival of the culture of their tribes,

    as well as their language and strength of character.

    Indigenous peoples in the world

    It is currently estimated that in Latin America alone

    there are around 522 indigenous peoples and that the total population would add up to 42 million people.

    Of this large round number, 59% are women,

    that is, more than half; and yet they are the most oppressed sector of both tribal society and society in general.


    It is estimated that indigenous women currently suffer triple discrimination:

    • The first is due only to its gender. The majority of indigenous peoples are sexist, which is why they deprive girls of their education and even many of the mating practices in some of these cultures contemplate rape.
    • The second discrimination is due to their status as indigenous, many countries see the indigenous as a second-class citizen.
    • And the situation worsens with the third level of discrimination, which is poverty. Even in the 21st century, many indigenous women cannot own the land where they live and work, but instead it belongs to the man of the house, from whom they must ask permission to work it and even take what is harvested.

    Why choose September 5 to celebrate the Day of the indigenous woman?

    The choice of the date is mainly due to a South American heroine, the Indian Bartolina Sisa, who was born in Cuzco, Peru, on August 24, 1753. She was a courageous and hard-working woman, dedicated mainly to her work on the loom.

    At the age of 25, she married Julian Apaza, who years later would be known as the caudillo Túpac Katari,

    with whom she would organize the rebellion of the indigenous peoples through the Andes.

    She fell prey to the enemy, who promised Tupac Katari to free her if he met their demands. He didn’t do it, because he knew it was a trap to destroy the two heads of the movement. However, he sent two messengers to give his wife gold, coca, and food.

    In 1781, the indigenous insurgency broke out, which was called Aymara Quechua. The two leaders of this revolution were the caudillo and his wife, on equal terms and level of command.

    Bartolina was raped, beaten, tortured and finally hanged on September 5th, 1782. But she went down in history as one of the bravest, most unwavering and incorruptible indigenous women that the South American continent could give birth to.

    How to commemorate the Day of the indigenous woman?

    Currently, one of the best ways to commemorate this day is fighting for equal rights for these women around the world. They have been stigmatized as a sub-segment of women. However, they are women and should enjoy the same rights as any person of their gender.

    Another way to celebrate this day is to learn a little more about the indigenous culture of your country and discover the role that women have played in that history. If you discover something really interesting, it would be great if you shared it with your friends through social networks, using the hashtag #DiadelaMujerIndigena.

    Resonance Costa Rica
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