Indigenous Women’s Pushback

By Yifat Susskind, on, 27 May, 2007.

(from 25, 2007)

Indigenous activists are putting up a fight – against violence. At the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, activists are focused on passing a declaration that recognizes the right of Indigenous Peoples to their lands, territories, and resources. This organizing drive is seeking international legal protection from the violence done to Indigenous Peoples, which over the centuries has threatened their very survival. Indigenous women, meanwhile, are organizing against gender-based violence. This violence has derived not just from gender discrimination and subordination but also from the violation of the collective rights of Indigenous communities.

At the international level, 2,500 Indigenous activists and NGO representatives from around the world have gathered in New York this month to debate the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which calls on governments to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination and control over their territories. At the local level, women’s groups are translating the same right to self-determination into economic autonomy and the preservation of Indigenous traditions. Much progress has been made, both internationally and locally, but the movement still faces significant obstacles.

U.S. Opposition: … (full text).

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