Demands of the women of Oaxaca

Demands of the women of Oaxaca

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January 9, 2007


On the 31st of August APPO´s Coordination of Women of Oaxaca (COMO 1st August) was formed. It raised that: “At present and due to the extreme poverty, the conditions for having so many children do not exist, in addition the struggle demands that we should be participating in other areas.”

On the basis of documents from the conference and what the women told us, we have assembled the following demands.

– Equal participation of women and men.
– Reclaim the Indigenous traditions, unless they undermine the human dignity of women.
– The right to land for Indigenous women: the majority do not own their homes because as women they don’t inherit their land.
– To struggle against violence: many are beaten by their husbands; many married whom their parents chose for them.
– Literacy: many women over 40 years old don´t know how to read and write and don´t speak Spanish.
– Compulsory teaching of the languages of the original cultures of the state of Oaxaca.
– The formation of brigades to go to Indigenous communities, villages and colonias to let people know about our experience of struggle.
– To struggle against discrimination.
– To struggle against the economic system – women are the poorest – and to create an economy based on sustainable development.
– No to losing your job because of pregnancy.
– Abolition of provisional contracts.
– Health services: many women die without having seen a doctor.
– Decent housing.

And therefore:

1. Create communal kitchens for each colonia and each block.
2. Form food collectives.
3. Establish comprehensive education programmes.
4. Eradication of alcoholism and drug addiction.
5. Form cultural collectives that enable the Indigenous communities to have cultural interchanges by means of workshops, training courses and forums.
6. Promote projects for production, with adequate economic support, in terms of tools and other material resources for their functioning that enable community development and economic independence of the peoples of our state.
7. Hold study groups about our roots.
8. Promote a massive literacy campaign.
9. Develop programmes for radio and television to broadcast organizing experiences from one people to another.
10. Training on gender equity for boys and men.
11. Develop a project to reclaim Indigenous languages.
12. Stop Channel 13 for two hours and inform people about what is really happening in this grassroots struggle.
13. Contact groups of women in other states to let them know about the problems that we face in this state.
14. Hold an Indigenous Women´s Forum for which the call will be in Indigenous languages.
15. Open an email for COMO 1st August to let people know about our activities.

4 January 2007

In November the Global women´s Strike met with women from Oaxaca, Mexico, and we committed ourselves to spreading information about their struggle, their demands, their leading participation in the Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca (APPO) – Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, the great unity it has achieved and the harsh repression attempting to defeat it.

Your support is needed:

– Sign and return this letter. We will forward it to the authorities and the media. Send protest emails and faxes to the authorities.

– Donations. We are sending $1000 to the women of Oaxaca knowing that we can count on international support. We will send everything we collect.

To send a donation in US dollars make cheques payable to Global Women´s Strike, PO Box 11795, Philadelphia, PA 19101, USA; in pound sterling to Global Women’s Strike, Crossroads Women’s Centre, 230a Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2AB, England; in euros to Huelga Mundial de Mujeres, Centro Las Mujeres Cuentan, Radas 27 Local, 08004 Barcelona, Spain or by bank transfer to Huelga Mundial de Mujeres, Caixa Penedes, IBAN: ES94 2081 0249 50 3300003442.
Please write Oaxaca on the back of the cheque.

– Circulate this information as widely as possible.


Since August, according to information released by the CNDH (human rights commission) and published in the paper La Jornada, 20 people have been assassinated, 349 are being held, among them 34 women, and 370 have been wounded. And it is well known that many people have disappeared. According to APPO´s 22 December letter, since Ulises Ruiz Ortiz took power 71 people have been murdered, 150 raped or tortured in other ways, more than 100 disappeared, and more than 500 detained.

Together with our sisters in Oaxaca, we demand open public dialogue. Justice for women and all our loved ones. An end to rape and other torture. An end to repression. All those who have been detained or disappeared must be returned alive and released. Out with Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. Withdrawal of the Preventive Federal Police. Implementation of APPO´s popular government. Implementation of women’s demands. Invest in caring not killing.

Support by signing this letter and sending it back to us at:

It will be circulated internationally and sent to the women and men of APPO, and to the Mexican authorities and consulates.

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