Sep. 5: International Day of Indigenous Women

The International Day of Indigenous Women is celebrated every year on September 5th, date instituted by the Second Meeting of Organizations and Movements of America in Tiahuanaco (Bolivia), in honor of the struggle of Bartolina Sisa, an Aymara warrior who opposed colonial rule and who was brutally murdered in 1782, in La Paz, Bolivia.

The International Day of Indigenous Women is celebrated every September 5 to pay tribute to all women belonging to the indigenous peoples of the world, and to make their heroic deeds visible.

The Aymara warrior was dedicated to fabrics, she was a spinner. She married the leader Túpac Katari and together with him she organized the indigenous resistance of the Andean peoples against the Spanish yoke.

Since 1983, indigenous people from different countries commemorate this date with the honor that the women who carry the cultural and ancestral heritage of these communities deserve; as well as those who died in the fight against discrimination and abuses committed against this gender and ethnic group throughout history.


The fundamental roles played by indigenous peoples, and especially indigenous women continue to be an aspect that is invisible or directly denied despite its factual evidence.

For example, indigenous food subsistence systems and own means of production. It is well known that indigenous women play an important role in the preservation of biodiversity through the conservation of seeds, in the recovery of agroecological practices that guarantee food sovereignty and security from the production of healthy foods, often against the current of policies and majority actions that propose other types of feeding practices.

It is important to recognize the importance of the ancestral knowledge that indigenous women preserve for the food subsistence of Indigenous Peoples and many other non-indigenous people who, in one way or another, receive the benefits of this knowledge.

Despite this notable and unique contribution, indigenous women continue to live in a situation of social and political inequality, with less right to tenure (access, use, and transfer) of land, limiting the promotion of gender equality as a necessary condition for eradicating poverty and hunger in different regions around the world.

Indigenous women from Chiapas selling clothing in Mérida (File photo)


Without prejudice to this, indigenous women have an enormous capacity to overcome problems such as those expressed, finding answers to move forward as individuals and as groups.

This has been pointed out by the United Nations Forum on Indigenous Issues, highlighting this constant role and overcoming obstacles: “… women make important decisions on agricultural work and the choice of crops, as well as on daily food. of the family, thus contributing to the sustenance of the families and […] In this context, women have proposed new forms of bonding within the communities, in families, and with men, creating conditions to exercise their rights in greater circumstances of equality, even challenging customs and traditions that oppress them.

The Yucatan Times
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