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Snapshot: Indigenous Women

Snapshot: Indigenous Women Did you know? There is no international agreement on the definition of indigenous peoples. Instead, indigenous peoples self-identify whether they consider themselves to be indigenous. 370 million the number of Self-identified indigenoUS peoples in Some 90 countries worldwide An estimated 70% are in Asia and the Pacific The Reality From Bolivia to Burundi, from the Philippines to the Russian Federation, indigenous women make valuable contributions to their communities, socially and economically. The Challenges Multiple discrimination and limited gender-sensitive laws and policies pertaining to health care, education, land rights and violence. Select Milestones For decades, indigenous women and gender equality advocates have pushed and negotiated for gender-sensitive language in policies and international negotiations. Here are just a few of the milestones achieved: The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), held its first session. Held annually since then, the Permanent Forum plays an integral advisory and awareness-raising role on indigenous issues. 2007 2002 The General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The landmark Declaration, among other provisions, calls upon States to pay special attention to the rights and special needs of indigenous women, and to ensure that women enjoy full protection from all forms of violence and discrimination. UN Women's Support to Indigenous Women UN Women supports the efforts of indigenous women who are bringing change in their communities worldwide through the Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UNTF), which it administers on behalf of the UN system. Here's a peek at a few grantees! Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Trust fund and funding period: UNTF grantee, 2010-2013 Indigenous groups supported: Numerous communities across Asia Population of indigenous peoples (Asia): Est. 260 million Indigenous women's contribution: Food production and agriculture; household consumption (influencing the health and wealth of the family and community); childcare duties; transference of knowledge (e.g. textiles, handcrafts and language); and social cohesion. Challenges: Limited land rights and involvement in decision-making; little to no access to justice, education and health services; and violence (domestic, sexual and structural). Grantee's work: One of the ways that AIPP addresses these challenges is to increase capacity and skills of indigenous women to promote the recognition of their rights in customary laws and local legislations. For instance, through the Indigenous Women's Programme, AIPP supports indigenous women in building their capacity, awareness and skills in the areas of human rights, laws, policies and programmes that promotes and protect women's rights, so that they can strengthen their understanding and undertake effective advocacy and negotiations with the authorities. Little known fact: There are customary laws that do provide women some protection. For example, the traditional values of the Bontok people in the Philippines do not allow men to hurt women. Men who are physically violent to women are regarded as weak and cowardly. Furthermore, there is a penalty imposed on violators, determined by council elders in the ator (local council), or by relatives of both parties. If I can make one change today: I would allow indigenouS women to have egual space in decision-making, in all levels of traditional customary institutions and state structures." Shimreichon Luithui-Erni Coordinator of AIPP's Indigenous Women Programme From the state of Nagaland in Northeast India That's French for Unite for the Advancement of the Batwa Unissons-nous pour la Promotion des Batwa (UNIPROBA) Trust fund and funding period: FGE grantee, 2013-2014 Indigenous groups supported: Batwa, third-largest ethnic group in Burundi, following Hutu and Tutsi Batwa population: Est. 80,000 Indigenous women's contribution: Production and selling of pottery; supporting livelihoods; family values; cultural heritage; transference of knowledge; education; and community politics. Challenges: Extreme poverty; poor access to basic social services; lack of land rights; low education levels; limited political participation; high level of domestic and sexual violence in marriage (due to entrenched patriarchal and discriminatory practices that target Batwa women in particular); early marriage; and limited access to justice mechanisms. Grantee's work: UNIPROBA works on various fronts to advocate for the rights of Batwa communities. This includes advocating for the inclusion of provisions for Batwa in Burundi's equity laws (the two larger ethnic groups, the Hutu and Tutsi, are often the only ones mentioned); awareness raising through radio broadcasts targeting programme beneficiaries; and supporting the education of Batwa girls. Little known fact: Before the 1993 civil war in Burundi, the Batwa communities, especially the women, were the only suppliers of pottery products to Burundians, who used the clay pots as cooking utensils. The livelihoods of Batwa are now endangered as more durable materials are replacing the traditional clay pots. The Batwa do not have access to the skills or resources necessary to adopt production techniques for modern pottery. If I can make one change today: 'Access to education for Batwa children and adults is key to making a change, because illiteracy is a significant problem that affects the Batwa community more than others. Hon. Liberale Nicayenzi Chair of the Committee of Elders in UNIPROBA Batwa community member Batwa representative in Burundi's Senate UNCT-Mexico comprises ECLAC, UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO and UNICEF UN Country Team (UNCT)-Mexico Trust fund and funding period: UNTF grantee, 2010-2013 Indigenous groups supported: Tzeltal, Tzotzil (Chiapas state) Mixe, Zapoteco (Oaxaca state) Population of indigenous peoples (Mexico): Est. 15% of the country's population Indigenous women's contribution: Time and consistent efforts to projects and initiatives, which is the backbone of collective governance; and alternative formations of citizenship and livelihoods. Challenges: Triple discrimination based on their gender, ethnicity and economic status; barriers to participation in public and political arenas (e.g. in certain situations indigenous women are not allowed to hold public positions in Community Assemblies or vote in local elections, despite federal, state, and local laws that promote women's suffrage); limited access to education; violence; and limited choices for sexual and reproductive rights. Grantee's work: UNCT-Mexico has sought to work with both indigenous women and indigenous men to combat gender violence within communities. In one community in Oaxaca state, local leaders have worked diligently to make men a part of the solution to ending gender violence by ensuring that men are obliged to attend workshops on masculinity and violence. Little known fact: Citizenship is not a right in this community. It is earned through collective labour and service, after individuals demonstrate work and commitment to the community. If I can make one change today: I would change the perception of the role of women in the development of their community...Showing the importance of women in their community can repreSent both greater opportunities for participation in decision-making Cand] the value they provide as promoters of change and well-being." Jimena Valdés Figueroa, Gender Joint Programme, Mexico Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean OUNE WOMEN EE Sources C To learn more about UN Women, visit Credits Photos: AIPP (, Christian Erni), UNIPROBA (Etienne Ndayishimiye, ONU Femmes Burundi), UNCT-Mexico (UNCT-Mexico, Fernanda Valdés) Icons:

Snapshot: Indigenous Women

shared by UNWomen on Aug 08
UN Women supports the efforts of indigenous women who are bringing change in their communities worldwide through the Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women ...



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