Brazil’s First Black Women’s March Draws Thousands
AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

Black Brazilian women want to make sure that their voices are heard.

On Wednesday, thousands of Black women marched through the nation’s capital of Brasília, bringing awareness to the discrimination that they have faced for decades, reports the Associated Press.

“What is occurring today is not a demonstration in 2015, but a historic demonstration demanding equality in gender and race,” protestor Tais Teles told Agencia Brasil. “We know from several survey institutes that Black women are placed in an inferior category.”

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The more than 10,000 protestors were met with resistance from a separate group protesting the impeachment of the nation’s president. An altercation broke out between the two groups, resulting in police pepper spraying both sides.

This was the first march of its kind, though Black women have experienced discrimination within the country for years. Studies show that Black Brazilian women face higher rates of illiteracy, earn less than White women and are disproportionately likely to die in childbirth and homicides. Earlier this month, hundreds of Black women participated in the country’s first natural hair march.