As the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence come to a close today, FPP reflects on the actions needed now to concretely and effectively address the role and position of women fighting for the collective rights of their peoples. In this context we are pleased to present a follow-up new report on the International Workshop on Indigenous Women’s Rights, Land and Resources. The outcomes of the workshop, held in Thailand in 2015, are very relevant today and can help develop strategies to increase indigenous women’s voices and allow for their strong and meaningful participation in strategies and actions to secure the land rights of their peoples.
The report provides, in part, an analysis of the work undertaken over a number of years and participants in the workshop made specific and targeted recommendations for where future work on gender and land rights should be focused, to create the most opportunities possible for progress on collective land tenure recognition.
In the occasion of the 16 Days of Activist against Gender-Based Violence, we would like to highlight the following specific areas of need and to underline their importance to address crucial human rights issues:
Awareness raising and training:
Participants stressed the importance of continued support for awareness raising and to provide training on women’s rights and land rights. There is a significant body of human rights standards and jurisprudence that can be useful to support legal and human rights advocacy and court cases. However in too many cases this wealth of legal input is just not well understood or known about. Human rights standards developed in one region can be applied and used in other regions, greatly increasing their impact on evolving law. Further training and experience sharing on this is a priority in order to empower indigenous peoples’ organisations and indigenous women’s groups to use all the international law background available to advocate their rights at local and national level.
Mapping of existing networks:
Mapping, identifying and sharing information about organisations and peoples who can support each other in the wider push for stronger collective tenure recognition is crucial. This includes identifying existing and potential partners in order to build a stronger network of organisations working on women’s rights and on indigenous people’s rights. Sharing and networking is key.
Both of these first two recommendations could be met, in part, through collaboration with the Global Call to Action. This project was convened by Oxfam Novib, the Rights and Resources Initiative and the International Land Coalition and continues to grow in strength now.
The UN System-Wide Action Plan on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
Participants noted the critical importance of current UN processes to improve indigenous peoples’ participation in activities that impact on them. The UN System-Wide Plan was noted as a key opportunity for indigenous women to ensure their specific issues are taken into account.
The Convention on Biological Diversity:
A small group was created during the IWIW workshop to support and feed into the work of the CBD on Article 8(j) and the Plan of Action on Customary Sustainable Use of Biodiversity. Suggested activities included the submission of case studies on gender and land rights and the activities of the Indigenous Women Biodiversity Network.
FPP remains committed to supporting action to increase recognition of the vital importance of defending the role of indigenous women in securing the collective land and other rights of their peoples.