For immediate release: 7 March 2013
Indigenous women from Asia and Pacific speak out about sexual violence and multiple forms of discrimination against indigenous women and girls
This week, indigenous women from throughout Asia-Pacific 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.
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.
For further information about indigenous women delegates from Asia-Pacific and interviews, please contact:
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