Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

April 21, 2024

Bolivia 'The Women in My Community Have Always Been Warriors'

Representative of the Bartolina Sisa National Confederation of Peasant Women of Bolivia by Censored News.

Bolivia 'The Women in My Community Have Always Been Warriors'

By Brenda Norrell, Censored News, April 21, 2024

NEW YORK -- "The women in my community have always been warriors," the representative of the powerful Indigenous women's movement in Bolivia told the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on Friday.

"Indigenous women and girls face many challenges and we are forgotten. We do not have access to proper education and health care, and economic opportunities. That is not fair and is unacceptable."

"However in Bolivia, we have made significant progress," said the representative of the Confederation of National Indigenous and Campesino Women of Bolivia Bartolina Sisa.  

"Fifty percent of our Parliamentarians are women in the National Assembly. Indigenous women are representing Indigenous Peoples in the National Parliament."

There are laws promoting the rights of Indigenous women, she said, but it is not sufficient. In her community they continue to fight to defend the rights of women and girls, and are forging ahead with political legislative and public policy changes.

"We must rally to defend the rights of Indigenous women and girls."

"We must join forces to create a world in which people, regardless of gender or cultural origin are able to live well and in harmony with Pachamama on Mother Earth.

"The women in my community, Bartolina Sisa, women, have always been warriors and have always fought against the injustice that has been leveled against the Bolivian people."

"We are Indigenous women, we are proud, and we are present in the National Assembly, we are supported by the state and the government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia."

The twenty-third session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is underway at UN Headquarters in New York from April 15-26, 2024. The theme is "Enhancing Indigenous Peoples' right to self-determination in the context of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: emphasizing the voices of Indigenous youth."

Read more: 

The Legacy of Bartolina Sisa

Anti-colonial organizing by Indigenous movements in Bolivia has much of its roots in the 1781 rebellion against Spanish rule led by Túpac Katari and his wife, Bartolina Sisa. Bartolina Sisa was a revolutionary woman who fought against the colonial system.

Sisa’s legacy in the Bolivian Indigenous movement was formalized in 1980 with the creation of the Federación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas de Bolivia “Bartolina Sisa” (the National Federation of Women Rural Workers of Bolivia “Bartolina Sisa.”) Continue reading

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