The commemoration was established at the Second Meeting of Organizations and Movements of America, gathered in Tihuanacu (Bolivia) in 1983, to vindicate the struggles that indigenous women have led and are carrying out in different corners of the hemisphere, especially in Latin America. It is a tribute to Bartolina Sisa, an Aymara woman, raped, tortured and finally murdered on September 5, 1782 after leading an indigenous uprising against the Spanish Crown and who went down in history as one of the most courageous and unshakable women offered by the continent.
Currently it is estimated that in Latin America alone there are about 522 indigenous peoples and that the total population would reach about 42 million people. Fifty-nine percent are women, yet they are the most oppressed sector of both tribal society and society in general. According to Argentina’s Public Ministry of Defense (MPD), “this group requires special attention from the justice administration system. That they consider the characteristics of their identity, which is constructed in relation to other social and cultural categories that interact on multiple levels”.
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a comprehensive document that emphasizes the right of indigenous peoples to preserve and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions and to work for their development of according to their aspirations and needs. Currently UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women, expresses a warning sign: “although the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples generated special attention on the needs and rights of indigenous women and urged to protect them from violence, these women continue to suffer disproportionate levels of discrimination and violence. More than one in three indigenous women is raped in her lifetime. Furthermore, this population has a higher than average rate of maternal mortality, adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV / AIDS”.