Afro-Colombian Women: Resistance at the Intersection of Racism, Sexism and War

Monday, March 27, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

This webinar will take a critical look at the situation of Afro-Colombian women to provide an assessment of their reality in contrast with the narrative institutionalized by the Colombian government to purportedly guarantee Afro-Colombians rights, on one hand,and women’s rights, on the other. We will discuss the “prevailing” understanding of Afro-Colombian Womenhood in different regions of the country, in order to establish possible links between those narratives and connotations and the high rates and particular forms of violence resisted by them. The webinar will focus on topics such as intersectional discrimination, different facets of intersectional violence in contexts of war and widespread violence; the national government responses; and the reactions by the Afro-Colombian movement, the women's movement and the growing black women's movement. Furthermore, we will explore similarities between the distinct forms of violence affecting Afro-descendant women in Colombia and the United States, as well as other countries with alarming rates of violence against black and afro-descendant women, such as South Africa and Brazil.

"The Status of Afro-Colombian Women" will be co-presented by four Afro-Colombian advocates who are experts on the field or grassroots organizations/Black communities’ council’s leaders. We will possibly count with the participation of an expert from of the NGO leading the legal advisory to Afro-Colombian women’s initiatives, Women’s Link. Panelists will include DANNY RAMÍREZ one of the founders of the Faces & Footprints Foundation, in Buenaventura, where she worked on numerous projects to improve the quality of life of young people and women from the port city; MARÍA CÁRDENAS a lawyer and human rights activist with a long history of fighting for reproductive rights in Latin America; DORA VIVANCO Coordinator of the Childhood and Youth Area from the National Conference of Afro-Colombian Organizations (CNOA); and CLARA VALDES of the National Conference of Afro-Colombian Organizations, Gender Equality and Afro-Colombian Women's Rights. The panel will be moderated by SARA FERRER VALENCIA an Afro-Colombian lawyer and human rights advocate currently serving as the Research Fellow at AAPF and CISPS.

The webinar will be conducted in Spanish with live spoken translation.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How is the status of Afro-Colombian women related to U.S. advocacy?

    • The purpose of #HerDreamDeferred and many of AAPF’s movements is to shed light on issues facing Black women and girls that are not getting the attention that they urgently require. In Colombia, Afro-descendant women have historically and continue to be dehumanized and discriminated against resulting in extremely high levels of homicide and sexual violence. Moreover, as exemplified by their exclusion for the recent peace talks, Afro-Colombian woman have routinely been largely left out of the decision making processes that directly affect them, particularly as they relate to the resolving of conflict in recent years. Paralleling the continued marginalization of Black women in US leftists movements, this comes in spite of their continual presence on the front lines of the movement for peace.

    • Tweet: WOC face intersectional violence in Colombia as they do in the US Resist the dehumanization and physical/sexual violence! #HerDreamDeferred

  2. What types of challenges do Afro-Colombian women face?

    • Given their status as both a gender and a racial/ethnic minority within Colombia, Afro-descendant women have faced, and continue to face, a number of specific burdens and challenges. Many Afro-Colombian societal norms, specifically those that relate to the relationships between women and men, have operated, in some ways, in an oppositional manner to traditional, more conservative gender norms, endangering the lives of women who are seen to not conform to these norms. This was particularly true in conservative paramilitary held regions where armed forces often sought to enforce these traditional gender roles through physical and sexual violence.

    • Tweet: There can be no true peace in Colombia without Afro-Colombian women. Tell their stories, redress their harm. #justice #HerDreamDeferred