We indigenous women from different regions of the world have made great efforts to enable our coordinated demands to be heard. We have played a key part in the negotiation procedures for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, finally adopted in 2007, and in the installation of several specific mechanisms within the framework of the United Nations.
A tangible example, a result of this organizational impulse, is the participation of indigenous women in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, where our voice has transmitted our recommendations. Topics include health, education, nutrition, the natural environment, economic independence, participation in politics, and violence against indigenous women.
After a joint process of advocacy together with other indigenous organizations, we have persuaded the General Assembly of the United Nations to organize a high-level plenary meeting known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) to be held in September 2014 in New York.
The world’s female indigenous leaders point out that natural-resource exploitation is not only unsustainable, but a threat to their lives.
The presence of extractive industries on land belonging to indigenous peoples has degenerated into a state of systematic violence against women, the traditional protectors of the natural environment. From Africa to Latin America, women are evicted from their lands, captured by human trafficking networks, and sexually abused.
Thus asserts the organizing committee of the World Conference of Indigenous Women, held last October in Lima, Peru, and whose representatives yesterday ratified a plan of action to eradicate the violence, discrimination, racism and poverty suffered by indigenous women the world over.
They asked states to draw up a new sustainable, redistributive and solidarity-based economic model. They likewise drew attention to the fact that the participation of local communities in the administration of natural resources has been shown to work effectively, and therefore principles such as that of free, prior and informed consent should be respected.
The story of the women who gathered from all over the world at the World Conference of Indigenous Women is a living journey of generational strength, courage, hope and resilience. As elder women spoke, they imparted wisdom about our responsibilities to our mother earth and to sustaining life through proper relationships. They shared stories of their struggles and activism to get us where we are today. Here’s to the World Conference of Indigenous Women!
Cultural Survival Quarterly
Vol.37, Issue 4. December 2013
Nothing About Us, Without Us. Everything About Us, With Us.
On October 28–30, 2013, at the World Conference of Indigenous women in Lima, Peru, Indigenous women united in one voice to call upon States to respect, protect, and fulfill their rights.
In Cambodia, indigenous families are being displaced from their territories due to the production of sugar cane.
Cambodian indigenous women demanded stop the activities of the Chinese multinational corporations Rui Feng and Lan Feng. They indicate that cultivation and extraction of sugar cane is displacing indigenous peoples from their territories.
According to the portal ruom.net, the Indigenous Peoples’ crops have been burned, their animals have been slaughtered, and their houses have been destroyed. Also, it is reported that thousands of indigenous people have been left destitute. Even, those who raised their voices of protest have been imprisoned.
The indigenous who are displaced are forced to work for these companies, obtaining an average wage of $2.50 per day. In many cases, it is also reported that children are working on sugar plantations.