Guatemala City, November 17 (teleSUR-RHC)-- Women leaders and members from more than 100 different indigenous groups convened in Guatemala on Monday for the first day of the annual Continental Meeting of Indigenous Women of the Americas. The continental meeting, to be held from Nov. 16 to 19, brings indigenous women together for the seventh consecutive time to create a space to exchange experiences and knowledge across national boundaries. “We need to hear and exchange views with our allies to build more inclusive, effective and workable proposals, which take into account the axis of respect for human rights and cultural diversity...that guarantee full life,” a statement from the women’s meeting read. The forum is organized by the Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas (Ecmia), a space that has been organizing and empowering indigenous women from 23 different countries across the continent for the last two decades. Indigenous delegates attending the forum belong to more than 100 indigenous groups, including the Inuit, Nunavut, Navajo, Apache, Nahua, Maya, Kuna, Miskito, Nasa, Quechua, Aymara and Mapuche. Rigoberta Menchu, a renown indigenous rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner from the Mayan Quiche community in Guatemala, is one of many key speakers at the event. Among the main themes of the forum, the women will discuss the detrimental effects of systemic racism, the struggle for indigenous women’s rights , the importance of ancestral medicine, sexual health and reproduction, and climate change.