Orange Day calls to stop violence against indigenous women and girls

Every 25th of the month is commemorated to draw attention to the elimination of violence against women and girls. In April, the theme for Orange Day is the elimination of violence against indigenous women and girls.

Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2017

 Otilia Lux de Coti. Photo: UN Radio/Rocío Franco. | Tarcila Zea. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown.
Otilia Lux de Coti. Photo: UN Radio/Rocío Franco. | Tarcila Zea. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown.

This Orange Day, 25 April, is dedicated to eradicating violence against indigenous women and girls. This is a particularly complex challenge in Latin America and the Caribbean considering the many forms of violence they face: from daily discrimination to extreme forms of violence, such as the murder of the Honduran activist, feminist and indigenous leader Berta Cáceres in March 2016. To commemorate the day, two indigenous leaders and activists discuss the many forms of violence suffered by indigenous women and girls in the Latin America and the Caribbean region, and lay out the way forward to eradicate them.

"We prefer to speak of “violences”, in plural," said Tarcila Rivera Zea, a member of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues of the United Nations and founder of the non-governmental organization CHIRAPAQ, Center of Indigenous Cultures of Peru."’Violences’ in plural speaks of the need and urgency to link the violence that indigenous women face with our individual and collective rights. In this plurality, discrimination and racism act as an umbrella that covers other forms of violence, which happen in the face of States and citizens that tend to invisibilize and ignore the indigenous peoples.”

For Otilia Lux de Coti, a renowned Mayan leader and activist in Guatamala, and Executive Director of the International Forum of Indigenous Women Tania Pariona Tarqui, a Quechan Peruvian Congresswoman and member of the Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas, one of the main issues is institutional violence against indigenous women and girls, since this holds back their full development and empowerment.

"Violence, discrimination and racism are scourges that prevent the full development of indigenous women and girls," said Lux de Coti, "institutional violence is particularly evident when we consider that the rule of law is not equal for all citizens".

Orange Day is commemorated  on the 25 of every month in the framework of the UN Secretary General’s Campaign "UNiTE to End Violence against Women".

Read the full story on UN Women's regional website for Latin America and the Caribbean.