Tebtebba Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education No. 1 Roman Ayson Rd., 2600, Baguio City, Philippines Tel: +63 74 4447703 Tel/Fax: +63 74 4439459 Email: [email protected] Website: www.tebtebba.org NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women 24th June 2021 Virtual day general discussion on the rights of indigenous women and girls Part 1: “Equality and non-discrimination with a focus on indigenous women and girls and intersecting forms of discrimination” Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Executive Director Let me thank the CEDAW for inviting me to make a presentation in today’s session on the situation of indigenous women and girls who suffer from intersecting forms of discrimination and inequalities. I fully appreciate that CEDAW has included this as an agenda item and that efforts to develop a general recommendation on indigenous women and girls are underway. I was the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from 2014-2020 April and in performing my mandate I tried my best to look into the situations of indigenous women and girls during my country visits and in doing my thematic reports. My thematic report in 20151 focused on indigenous women and girls. In Tebtebba we have a dedicated program on indigenous women wherein we, ourselves and our partners, participate in many global and regional arenas where decisions on indigenous women and girls are being made. Political participation of indigenous women is a key issue which we focused on. Much of what I will present today is culled from the report which I referred to earlier. Indigenous women experience a broad, multifaceted and complex spectrum of mutually reinforcing and intersecting human rights abuses. Their multiple identities based on race and ethnicity, gender and class place them in highly vulnerable situations which are brought about by systemic racism and discrimination and patriarchal power structures. Five hundred years of colonization still has serious residual impacts which have yet to be addressed in a satisfactory manner. While indigenous women and their men suffer collectively and individually from the violations of their basic human rights, it is important to understand the differentiated nature and impacts of these violations on indigenous women and girls and to address their distinct needs. It is equally important to recognize that they continue to play important roles in making their communities more sustainable and they possess unique knowledge and wisdom which can help solve the global crises we face such as climate change, biodiversity erosion, pandemics, food insecurity. There is no doubt that there have been progress in putting into place policies and mechanisms which address indigenous peoples’ rights at the global, regional and national levels. Indigenous women have demonstrated their capacities in helping to give birth to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and the mandate of 1 A/HRC/30/4 1 the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Gender equality has been a principle adopted by these various bodies which allowed women to have equal participation. Indigenous women also have created their own organizations and networks which are focusing on gender inequality and discrimination. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) provides a common, authoritative and global understanding of indigenous women’s rights. It represents a global consensus. The UNDRIP applies equally to indigenous men and women’s rights to freely pursue their economic, social, political and cultural well-being. Among other rights, the UNDRIP protects indigenous women’s individual and collective rights (Article 1), their right to be free from all kinds of discrimination (Article 2) and their right to selfdetermination (Article 3). Article 22(2) places a duty on the State to protect indigenous women from all forms of violence and discrimination. The UNDRIP recognizes indigenous women’s equality with men, their rights to their lands and their participation as citizens in their homes, communities and States. Under the UNDRIP Article 21(2), States have a duty to work for the improvement of indigenous women’s economic rights. That duty must parallel indigenous women’s rights

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