Political Statement in the framework of CSW61: Empowerment of Indigenous Women

9 March 2017, 8:03 am Written by  International Indigenous Women's Forum
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Indigenous women from the Americas, Asia, Africa, the Arctic and the Pacific articulated through the International Indigenous Women’s Forum reaffirmed the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted during the Fourth World Conference on Women;

We highlight two resolutions concerning on indigenous women adopted by the Commission on the Status of Women, “Indigenous women: beyond the ten-year review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action” (Resolution 49/7); and “Indigenous women: key actors in poverty and hunger eradication” (Resolution 56/4);

We particularly value the six direct indicators that make reference to indigenous peoples in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and we advocate for its implementation in coherence with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the General Assembly in 20017, where the article 22 is related to indigenous women;

Recognizing the assumed commitments, adopted measures and the efforts made by the States, United Nations system, indigenous peoples and other agents related to the application of the Outcome document of the high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, particularly related to the rights of indigenous persons with disabilities and indigenous women;

We congratulate the Commission on the Status of Women for addressing the empowerment of indigenous women as a focus area during its sixty-first session;

We emphasize the importance to recognizing the contributions of indigenous women based on ancestral knowledge, which are key to energizing various local economies in order to eradicate poverty and ensure food sovereignty and sustainable development in our territories;

Concerned by the marked violence that we face indigenous women, human rights and mother earth defenders, we make an urgent call to accomplish the commitments and measures focused to promote opportunities of economic autonomy, access to economic resources as well as culturally relevant education and social services;

We believe that each culture has its own concept of empowerment and that must be taken into account. For us, indigenous women, empowerment is linked to the full exercise of our individual and collective rights in accordance with our worldview, it is part of our collective responsibilities to protect and live in peace with the Mother Earth;

Empowerment includes the right to freely exercise the economic, social and cultural development of each of our indigenous peoples as well to have control over our territories and their resources, which are often undermined by large corporations with the support of the States;

We highlight that Indigenous entrepreneurship guided by the logic of complementarity and reciprocity within the communities implies collective and holistic wellbeing;

We recognize the multiple expressions of economic empowerment through innovative experiences in economic endeavors such as artists, traditional foods, community tourism, designers and weavers, activists combining political empowerment with food security, the Indigenous Women’s Fund AYNI;

We have found that the lack of resources for food and production has forced the migration of indigenous women into labor markets, including domestic work in inhumane conditions. Migration pressures indigenous peoples to engage the formal economic system usually under conditions of inequality especially for indigenous women;

In view of this situation, we urge Members States to include the following priorities:

1. That States incorporate indicators disaggregated by ethnicity and gender for the appropriate formulation of public policies that guarantee well-being and services in rural contexts and indigenous communities, recognizing the contributions of indigenous women in the paid and unpaid labour market;

2. Recognize the contribution of indigenous women and their communities to sustainable and equitable development based on respect for ancestral knowledge, cultures, traditional values and practices and management systems that ensures environmental goods and services not only for indigenous communities but also for the general public;

3. Recognize the right of indigenous women to access and manage land, territory and its resources, including collective rights and usufruct use of land and common property, and implement actions based on free prior and informed consent;

4. To allocate financial resources to the implementation of economic activities of indigenous women taking into account their traditional knowledge in order to strengthen their leadership and improve their development, in particular through improved equitable access to productive resources and agricultural inputs, such as land, seeds, financial services, technology, transportation and information;

5. To encourage the Commission on the Status of Women to review the progress made and the challenges encountered in the implementation of the two adopted resolutions that refer to indigenous women; with a view to developing measures to eliminate obstacles to access to justice, especially for indigenous women, girls, youth and indigenous women with disabilities;

6. Ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous women, specially of the youth and indigenous women with disabilities in the preparatory processes for the sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women, including the Expert Group Meeting, Multi-Stakeholder Forum and the regional consultations prior to the session.


For further information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / www.fimi-iiwf.org

We, Indigenous women organizations endorse this Political Statement:

Las Hormigas



Cameroon Indigenous Women Forum (FFAC)

Foundation for Integrated Rural Development (FIRD) Uganda

Centro de Culturas Indígenas de Perú (Chirapaq)

Tebtebba Foundation


Mountain Spirit

Perempuan Aman – Maluku

SNF-Sámi Nisson Forum

Asociación Comunal Inkawasi Awana

Asian Indigenous Women's Network (AIWN)

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