Press Releases

Indigenous women petition for the SDGs to reflect their perspectives

Posted on: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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The information below is provided by our partner International Indigenous Women's Forum (IIWF/FIMI)

The Indigenous women worldwide reaffirm that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were created without due and effective consultation or obtaining Indigenous Peoples’ free, prior and informed consent. 

We consider the complete lack or little participation of Indigenous Peoples, particularly of Indigenous women, in consultation processes and/or in decision-making processes to be a serious concern. Also, it has been noted there has been a lack of funds and programs for the design and implementation of public policies concerning MDGs and Indigenous women. 

We consider it is essential to include national and international policies and funding to achieve equal opportunities and the fulfillment of our rights and reduce inequality, poverty, violence, child and maternal mortality, the impacts of climate change and natural disaster reduction that deeply affect indigenous women and our peoples. 

In order to implement effectively the MDGs and the Sustainable Development Goals and define the Post-2015 Development Agenda, taking into consideration Indigenous women’s perspectives, we urge Member States and United Nations Agencies to include these 6 priorities: 

  1. Impact of development aggression including extractive industries

Eliminate the negative impact of the extractive industries, such as mineral, oil and gas extraction as well as large scale plantations and dams which have proven to be particularly problematic and to have disproportionate impacts on the lives and wellbeing of indigenous women, their communities and the future generation including environmental damage to neighboring lands and the loss of culture, traditional knowledge and ways of life, conflicts, forced displacements, increased poverty and decline in the health of Indigenous Peoples. 

  1. Violence and sexual and reproductive health

Eliminate the violence against Indigenous women in its different expressions, including violence in the name of tradition such as the female genital mutilation and forced marriages, structural violence and violence against Mother Earth, which all disproportionately affect Indigenous women. Additionally, guarantee their sexual and reproductive health through intercultural health services, which respect and implement the systems and traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples. 

  1. Migration, urbanization and human trafficking

Implement measures to eliminate the violence and discrimination that Indigenous women are facing in diverse situations of displacement, migration, urbanization and human trafficking. Cultural identity and the cultural practices of Indigenous women are directly related to the Mother Earth and their territories, consequently, the migration predicts the extinction of complete languages and the loss of cultural forms and knowledge systems that indigenous women have particularly developed for centuries.  

  1. Climate change

Elaborate adaptation and mitigation measures to face climate change respecting indigenous peoples’ free prior and informed consent. Indigenous Peoples are the first to face the consequences of climate change due to their dependence and their relation to the environment and its resources. Climate change aggravates difficulties such as political and economic marginalization, the loss of lands and resources, violations to human rights discrimination and unemployment. Quality and availability of seeds has become unbalanced due to climate change and the Indigenous Peoples are suddenly displaced due to climate disasters. 

  1. Political Participation

Guarantee that Indigenous women participate in every dialogue and decision-making process regarding the issues that concern them, including the participation in local government, organizations, political parties and governmental institutions for the elaboration of public policies for Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous women. It is necessary to ensure the access to quality education to empower Indigenous women and their leadership and to achieve participation, election and decision-making at every level. 

  1. Inclusion of indicators

Develop indicators for indigenous women on socioeconomic, cultural and political situation with the full participation of women and identify the number of States that demonstrate compliance of international women’s rights instruments. Also the number of States that implement consultation mechanisms and free, prior and informed consent, as well as agricultural policies that promote indigenous women’s access to land.

 Finally, we urge Member States to include the following paragraphs in the CSW 58th outcome document:

The Commission recognizes that Indigenous women are lagging behind in the achievement of the MDGs in most, if not all, the countries in which they live. Indigenous women commonly face additional gender-based disadvantages and discrimination. We call States and the UN System to make greater efforts to promote the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples with the greater participation of women, in programs, policies and international processes that concern them or may affect them at the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly called the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, to be held in September, 2014, and Post 2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (Based on E/CN.6/2012/L.6, Par.4)

 The Commission reaffirms its resolution 56/4 entitled “Indigenous women: key actors in poverty and hunger eradication” and calls upon Governments, intergovernmental agencies, the private sector and civil society to take particular measures for its full implementation ensuring indigenous women’s full participation and respect for their cultural diversity and traditional knowledge. (Based on Res. 56/4)


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