UNITED NATIONS - This week, indigenous women from throughout the Asia-Pacific region
have gathered to raise their voices and present their concerns to the
on-going session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New
York. This session of the CSW is focusing on the priority theme of violence against women and girls.
Indigenous women from Asia and Pacific speak out about sexual
violence and multiple forms of discrimination against indigenous women
In preparation for the discussions taking place this week, indigenous
women have submitted to the Commission a range of documents detailing
how indigenous women experience violence against themselves and their
peoples. These documents also reiterate the fact that indigenous women
suffer disproportionately from a multi-fold of discrimination and
oppression based on their ethnicity, race, location and economic status
together with their sex.
In a statement delivered to the Commission this week, indigenous women
from Asia highlighted the connection between the collective rights to
lands and resources on which indigenous peoples depend, and the status
of indigenous women and their vulnerability to violence.
The statement notes the impact of militarization of indigenous peoples’ lands in Bangladesh:
“occupation of indigenous peoples’ land, evictions and sexual
harassments, including rape and murder of indigenous women by military
and settlers continues”.
The statement also notes that this phenomenon is not restricted to a single example but can be found throughout the region:
“dispossession goes hand in hand with violence by state armed forces,
settlers or the security personnel of private companies. The occupation
of indigenous peoples’ land not only means forced eviction but murder
and sexual harassment including rape of indigenous women”.
The women gathered in New York this week have presented to the
Commission a number of recommendations to help address these issues,
primarily by providing for the effective participation of indigenous
women in the governance of their own communities, peoples and nations.
This statement is supported by the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI) and all the indigenous women participants in the CSW 57 and the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD).
For further information about indigenous women delegates from Asia-Pacific and interviews, please contact:
Anne Lasimbang at:
Shimreichon Luithui-Erni at:
• Statement and recommendations by Indigenous Women from Asia-Pacific
and the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact Foundation (AIPP) to CSW: http://www.forestpeoples.org/sites/fpp/files/publication/2013/03/aipp-statementto57session-cswmarch2013.pdf
• Written Statement by the Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Pact Foundation (AIPP) and the Forest Peoples Programme ‘Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls: a complex phenomenon’: http://www.aippnet.org/home/statement/1023-written-statement-violence-against-indigenous-women-and-girls-a-complex-phenomenon
About the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact Foundation (AIPP):
The Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) is a regional organisation
founded in 1988 by indigenous peoples' movements and established its
Secretariat in 1992. It is committed to the cause of promoting and
defending indigenous peoples' rights and human rights as a whole. It
aims to strengthen the movements of indigenous peoples of Asia for
recognition of their collective rights, and protection of traditional
knowledge, bio-diversity and environment for sustainable and
self-determined development. More information: http://www.aippnet.org/home/index.php