Indigenous women asserted their rights by declaring the violence they faced unacceptable and created their own Declaration of Rights.
This is the number of participants who consistently attend the workshops.
Estimated girls & women affected
This data is still being collected, and will be added to the project as soon as possible.
Estimated community members affected
Since you supported us, our workshops have been helping young migrant indigenous women achieve a life free from violence. We built strategies to encourage reporting and documentation of crimes, and many women were surprised at the possibility of recourse. We recognized the self-confidence and tenacity of local indigenous women as they broke their chains of invisibility.
Our public awareness campaign denounced gender based violence and discrimination while the complementary photography exposition highlighted the power of women who claimed their voices and owned their heritages. Local women harnessed their own voices during the planning as they chose and investigated key themes. They left our workshops, wearing hope in their eyes, and carrying pride on their backs.
Violence and protective strategies resonated with the indigenous women who claimed they wouldn’t forget, “…the rights that women have in marriage that we now know we can demand.” They asserted their rights by declaring the violence they faced unacceptable and created their own Declaration of Rights, which included rights to “being heard, education, respect for their culture, traditions and heritage, unity and dignity.” They are a growing movement of women’s voices celebrating equality.
Risks and challenges
The largest challenge was ensuring participation of the indigenous women. They are not used to attending workshops or capacity building courses. Although it was a lot of work to get them there at first, they returned consistently. We found the Mestizo population resented the theme and reinforced the discriminatory stereotypes.
What we’ve learned
We had great success emphasizing the participation of indigenous women in featuring their stories in the public campaign. If we did it again, we’d have kept the photo exposition open for longer.
Amount spent so far
Training & education materials
Travel & food for trainings
Getting the word out to indigenous migrant women
We have held weekly planning meetings to develop a survey on gender and ethnic discrimination in the city of Querétaro. We will conduct the survey with young, indigenous, migrant women working in the city center and compile statistics. The process will also include focus groups. Results will be used to develop actions to fight against the conditions of marginalization and vulnerability for young indigenous migrants. As part of a project with adolescents in the municipalities Amealco and Tolimán, we established connections with indigenous women’s institutions and organizations in the Otomi region of the state of Queretaro. These connections will help spread the word about our project among indigenous women and allow us to better understand needs of young indigenous women who migrate from these towns to the city in search of opportunities.
Risks and challenges
It will be challenging to get the word out about the project in a way that is accessible and friendly for young, indigenous women. Many of the women are literate. The alliances we have made with indigenous women’s organizations will be key for disseminating information about the project by word of mouth using networks the women are already familiar with. It is difficult to break through discriminatory and misogynistic practices, which relegate young, indigenous women to marginalization and vulnerability. We hope that the public information campaign will raise awareness and contribute to increasing respect for the human rights of young indigenous women.
Over the next few months we will continue to strengthen our alliances with the organizations mentioned above and begin relationships with other institutions in order to collaborate on the project. We will begin violence prevention workshops in December. The photography workshops will begin early next year in February.
During this period we only used 5,000 Mexican Pesos (approximately $385 USD) of our budget, which we spent on human resources for the two activities described above.
Thank you again for your support! The grant payment process requires extensive communication with the organization and their bank, and due to strict requirements in Latin America, the process can be longer than anticipated. This organization has only recently received its Catapult funding through the Global Fund for Women, and is in the process of implementing its project and completing their progress report. Please check back for a full update on the progress of this group after December 15th!
Support indigenous girls in Mexico build valuable life skills through photography.
Why we care: Indigenous people in Mexico suffer from extreme poverty and discrimination–but women and girls suffer the most, simply because of their gender.
How we’re solving this: Providing indigenous girls with workshops on human rights, photography equipment and lessons to express and overcome daily obstacles they face.
Through photography lessons and workshops on women’s rights, indigenous girls will gain valuable life skills to empower them to make decisions about their own body, sexuality, work, resources, and future.
Poverty and multiple forms of discrimination plague indigenous communities in Mexico, with women and girls bearing the brunt of these challenges. Some indigenous groups migrate to the cities to look for work, but often they do not speak Spanish, barring them from integrating into communities, getting jobs, or registering for school. Indigenous women face increased challenges in the city due to their ethnicity, poverty, and lack of education and marketable skills.
Colectivo RED plans to unravel harmful ethnic and gender stereotypes by giving girls cameras, education, and a public forum for sharing their perspectives. Between 25 to 30 young indigenous women will have a year of training on how to use cameras as tools of social change. Each young woman will create a photography portfolio that creatively expresses the challenges she faces in life: violence, ethnic discrimination, and difficulty accessing quality education, health services, and stable jobs. While immersed in this self-reflective creative process, the young women will also take a total of ten classes, learning about photographic composition, gender-based violence, and advocacy strategies that will empower them to stand up against violence in their communities.
The one-year project will culminate in a photography exhibition, featuring the girls’ portfolios to increase public awareness on the prevalence of, as well as the need to eradicate and prevent, gender-based violence.
The big picture looks like this: 30 young, passionate, and creative feminists, and countless new public allies for indigenous women’s rights.