[Daily Bruin] Professor speaks about improving lives of indigenous women at UCLA event

By Maddie Ostergaard
November 18, 2017

An anthropology researcher said at an event Thursday she hopes to improve the lives of indigenous women across the Americas by highlighting their stories.

Rosalva Aída Hernández Castillo, a professor at a research center in Mexico City, talked about her findings from researching incarcerated indigenous women at a talk hosted by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center in Bunche Hall. Hernández Castillo, who has conducted anthropological fieldwork in Latin America for over 25 years, said many of the incarcerated indigenous women in Mexico she worked with did not know why they were jailed and had experienced multiple instances of sexual violence.

Hernández Castillo said she was able to empower many of the women by helping them share their experiences through print media. She added she contacted local publishing companies and was able to publish autobiographies and editorials on the women to spread awareness on the systematic oppression and violence they had experienced.

For example, Hernández Castillo said one indigenous woman stood up to the Mexican government after being sexually assaulted by a man in the Mexican army. After the Mexican government had issued a public apology, the indigenous woman said violence against indigenous women was a systemic issue that could not be resolved by apologizing to one victim.

“There needs to be a dialogue in which indigenous women can talk to authorities and lawyers,” Hernández Castillo said. “That way both can learn from each other.”

Read the full article: http://dailybruin.com/2017/11/18/professor-speaks-about-improving-lives-of-indigenous-women-at-ucla-event/

Posted November 20, 2016, 3:09 PM PST