Violence Against Indigenous Women

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Indigenous peoples all around the world face problems including the denial of their rights as peoples, discrimination, land dispossession, violence, and oppression. They suffer under the violations of their rights, especially regarding their own ways of life. The destruction of their economic systems, of their methods of production, of their management of living organisms and, on a spiritual level, the eradication of their deep ties to mother earth, have created an alarming structure of exclusion (CHIRAPAQ & ECMIA, 2013: 5). Furthermore, they are faced with assimilation and integration and usually forced into the mainstream dominant culture (Roy, 2004: 5). Indigenous women are the most vulnerable among indigenous peoples. They face double or…show more content…
Violence of all kinds are a daily reality for thousands of the continent's indigenous women. As already mentioned in the introduction their experiences of violence is closely linked to the history of colonization, poverty, and exclusion. It can be said, that the colonization has left an enormous impression which is still perceived in the lives of indigenous peoples, especially by indigenous women (CHIRAPAQ & ECMIA, 2013: 8). Historically, as Roy states, one of the most devastating weapons of conquest has been sexual violence (Roy, 2004: 6). In the eyes of the colonizers, indigenous bodies were seen as inherently “dirty” and with no value. In the colonial worldview, only “clean” and “pure” bodies deserved to be protected from violence. That is why violence is done to the so-called "dirty" or "impure" bodies simply did not count. The practice of mutilating Indian bodies makes it clear that colonizers did not think Indian people deserve bodily integrity (Roy, 2004: 6-7). According to Lugones, the so-called “colonial civilizing mission” justified the brutal access to their…show more content…
To understand the historical enactment of the oppression of indigenous women, Lugones states that the hierarchical gender dichotomy was used as a judgment. She goes on by arguing that, for example, Christian confession and sin were used to make a division between good and evil which served to imprint female sexuality with evil (Lugones, 2011: 74). Mendoza reaffirms that this judgement can be seen in the mass rapes of indigenous women as a weapon of the conquest and the colonial settlements, in the loss of their social and political status, in their enslavement and their reduction to servants. In her opinion, the “domestication” continues today with femicides, human trafficking, sex tourism, the female factory labor and the feminisation of poverty (Mendoza, 2010: 24). This means that the history of violence of indigenous women is, therefore, related to today's violence and can not be viewed separately. It also explains, as Lugones argues, the indifference that men show towards the violence that systematically infringe on women of color (Lugones, 2008:

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