Fourth Regional Forum Draws more than 200 Indigenous Women to Collaborate, Demand Rights

Opening ceremony performed by women leaders and PSYDEH’s partners.

On Saturday, November 25th, in commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, more than 200 women partnered with PSYDEH and local officials to hold the fourth regional meeting of indigenous women leaders.

The forum was held in the center of Huehuetla, one of the four municipalities represented at the event; the others were Tenango de Doria, Acaxochitlán, and San Bartolo Tutopec. All are located in the Sierra Otomí-Tepehua region of Hidalgo.

PSYDEH produced the event in collaboration with indigenous women leaders, Programa Proequidad INMUJERES, the US Foundation Global Giving and local municipal governments. Building and expanding on the previous three regional forums since 2014, the event empowered indigenous women to:

(1) Celebrate the diversity and unity of women in the region, in observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

(2) Mark the conclusion of the 2017 INMUJERES project.

(3) Learn from regional women leaders about the importance of political participation in Mexico’s democracy, and how to exercise their rights in the face of political violence within that democracy.

(4) Present and promote social action solutions to local problems according to their unprecedented development agenda, led by a growing Network of women-directed NGOs.

(5) Commemorate the launching of the Networks’ new professional logos.

In addition to participating in a workshop and panel discussion about women’s political participation in Mexico, attendees took part in a town-wide walk against violence, watched a self-defense presentation by a local school, and created a banner in honor of the day. The women also produced the unprecedented Huehuetla Declaration of 2017, a document stating their demands and proposals for the well-being of their communities.

Organizers and supporters included PSYDEH staff, municipal and regional leaders, and volunteers from the United States, Brazil, and Guatemala.