Briefing Note: Empowering Indigenous Women in Asia


“Indigenous women face severe rights violations, because they are women as well as indigenous peoples. The reporting of massive violations of the collective rights of indigenous peoples, especially to their land, territories and resources, do not normally account for the violence committed against indigenous women. The very struggle of indigenous peoples to defend and assert their rights is also at the heart of indigenous women’s struggle. However, many indigenous women are not yet fully recognized and acknowledged as indispensable partners in advancing indigenous peoples’ movements.” Joan Carling, AIPP Secretary General, ‘Tilting the Balance: Indigenous Women, Development and Access to Justice’

Indigenous peoples in Asia (roughly 270 million people) are gaining increasing recognition of their status as indigenous peoples, but many continue to face  lack of recognition by their own governments and others. In this briefing note, we are referring to peoples who may be known by other terms in their own countries, as ‘ethnic minorities’, or ‘hill tribes’, or ‘Adivasi’, and our reference is inclusive of all peoples who chose to self-define as ‘indigenous’ regardless of national government terminology.

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