We live in a time when public opinion is demanding a fairer and more equitable planet. There is no more important element to address this than the equality of men and women. This 4-minute animation video, produced by AIPP, outlines the recommendations from CEDAW (Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) and UNDRIP (UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) particularly on indigenous women that guide and help us to move in this direction.
Fifteen organisations working with indigenous women, including Forest Peoples Programme, have joined forces to emphasise the injustice and multiple forms of discrimination suffered by indigenous women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the Committee). States are required to submit reports to the Committee every four years, describing legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures they have adopted to implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (the Convention). The DRC’s report will be examined by the Committee on 11 July 2013 in the presence of a delegation of Congolese government representatives. The proceedings can be watched live online at: http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/.
The contours of “New Nepal” we all dream of cannot be shaped without appropriately addressing the concerns being raised by the indigenous women, who comprise half the female population. Traditionally, these women enjoyed greater degree of freedom and socioeconomic status than those from the so-called high caste Hindu groups such as Bahun, Chhetri, and Thakuri, who were restricted by pervasive patriarchy and religious orthodoxy. Unlike these women of the Indo-Aryan origin, the indigenous women were adept in handicrafts and other enterprises and freely participated in socio-cultural events. They faced no restriction during menstruation and were even free to choose their life partner and to remarry if they became single. They were also less affected by the dowry system.
Forest Peoples Programme (alongside partner organisations) has published three new publications; ‘Indigenous Peoples and the Green Climate Fund – A technical briefing for Indigenous Peoples, policymakers and support groups’, the third edition of ‘What is REDD+? A guide for indigenous communities’ and the second edition of ‘A Guide to Indigenous Women’s Rights under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women’.
In July, the 49th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) met in New York. Indigenous women in Nepal, under the umbrella of the Nepal Indigenous Women’s Federation (NIWF), attended the session for the first time to defend and explain the findings that they had presented to the Committee in their Shadow Report.
The report was supported also by the Lawyer’s Association for the Human Rights of Nepal’s Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) and by the Forest Peoples Programme, and represented the first national level, self-researched and written, report on the status of indigenous women in the newly emerging Nepalese republic.
Asian Indigenous Women’s Network and Forest Peoples Programme have developed a series of booklets addressing the human rights framework, the rights of indigenous peoples and the rights of women as enshrined in and protected by the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. The booklets have been designed specifically to address the situations of indigenous women in Asia and include a detailed compilation of existing CEDAW jurisprudence related to indigenous women.
The voices of indigenous women have repeatedly reminded national governments, human rights bodies and other national and international fora that their human rights as women need to be addressed as the rights of indigenous women. Accordingly, indigenous women have called on the United Nations bodies and processes related to women to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples “as a minimum standard in the fulfilment and enjoyment of rights by indigenous women”.