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CEDAW for Indigenous Women and Girls

COVID-19 poses a disproportionate threat to Indigenous women and girls around the world as a result of a history of structural inequalities and racism. This pandemic has sounded an alarm that we need to continue to work together, driving solutions that will strengthen and safeguard the collective and individual rights of Indigenous women and girls.  

CEDAW is an international treaty on the rights of women. But CEDAW does not specifically mention Indigenous women and girls. And it does not offer adequate protection against the discrimination they face. So, we've launched a campaign with Indigenous partners worldwide to make sure their unique priorities are included.

The logos for MADRE and FIMI.

Jointly with the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (best known as FIMI, by its Spanish initials), we have launched a campaign called CEDAW for Indigenous Women and Girls. Our goal is to call for a general recommendation that clearly defines the collective and individual rights of Indigenous women and girls in CEDAW and serves as a legally binding tool for the Indigenous movement.  

You can help! Join this global campaign

Sign your name to the pledge below to stand with Indigenous women and girls to demand that their collective and individual rights be recognized in CEDAW. 

Button: Take Action

The campaign has three goals focused on obtaining greater recognition of the rights of Indigenous  women and girls at the local, national, and international levels:

1. Collective Action - We believe in the power of movements. This is an opportunity to collectively mobilize the voices of Indigenous women and girls and create a comprehensive vision for these rights from their perspective.  

2. Create Awareness - We are dedicated to engaging Indigenous women and girls at the grassroots level, by providing resources and tools for them to take collective action and provide their input on the campaign. This will help us not only uplift their voices at the local level but create an opportunity for them to learn about CEDAW.

3. Advocate for a General Recommendation - When governments party to CEDAW submit their periodic reports, detailing progress on confronting discrimination against women, they must include information mandated by CEDAW. CEDAW also includes “general recommendations” to provide authoritative guidance and establishes legally binding obligations to a government party to exercise due diligence to protect women and girls from violence. Currently, there is no general recommendation on the collective and individual rights of Indigenous women and girls or that sets specific obligations for governments to address issues that affect them.

We believe that a general recommendation for Indigenous women and girls needs to be adopted to better integrate and protect their individual and collective rights. This will also be a historic win that supports the local organizing of women and girls’ groups to implement CEDAW’s protections at the local and national levels to strengthen and safeguard the rights of Indigenous women and girls.

You can join the campaign by emailing us at to receive tools and resources to take collective action in your community. Please email us with any questions regarding the campaign.