Afro-descendant women come together looking for equality

July 27, 2015

Close to 300 Afro-descendant women from 22 countries arrived in Nicaragua in June to bring to life the ‘Cumbre de Mujeres Lideresas Afrodescendientes de las Américas’ (first meeting of Afro-descendant women leaders of the Americas).

The objective of this event, supported by Hivos and the Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, or Network of Afro-Latin American Women, was to promote a political platform for Afro-descendant women and monitoring instruments to help stop the exclusion and discrimination they suffer.

The Summit also resulted in the Declaration of Managua, which includes 11 points  promoting the rights and equality of Afro-descendant women. Special emphasis was placed on guaranteeing their political participation and the development of a system to register the various ethnic, racial and gender aspects of the Afro-descendant population.

The Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeñas y de la Diáspora was in charge of organizing the event. For its members, it marked a milestone in their fight to claim their rights.

Approximately 200 million people live in Latin America and the Caribbean who identify themselves as Afro-descendant. However, as the political declaration of the Summit pointed out, “Afro-descendants still suffer multiple, aggravated and concomitant discriminating practices linked to factors such as gender, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, religion, political or other opinions, social background, patrimony, different physical and sensorial capacities, birth, etc”.

For Hivos, women’s rights are human rights. Our Women’s Empowerment program supports a wide range of initiatives that aim to create equal access for men and women to resources and opportunities for development.

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