World's Indigenous Women Demand to Be Heard
The following has been drawn from a press release by our partner organization in Peru, Chirapaq.
Indigenous women, feeling more directly the needs of other women and their community members, are a source of experience and wisdom which could enable countries to reduce social expenditure with more effective and efficient policies and programmes.
With the aim of demanding that their opinions be considered and their cultures be respected by states, female leaders from Latin America, North America, Asia, the Pacific, Africa, the Arctic and Russia are to hold a large-scale conference focused on the situation of indigenous women. The event will take place October 28-30 in Lima, Peru.
From Latin America to India, indigenous women suffer greater poverty than the population at large. They have only limited access to basic services such as education and health, and they are victims of multiple sorts of violence ranging from sexual exploitation to obligatory marriage and including genital mutilation and racial discrimination.
The hundreds of women who will gather in Lima will draw up a positioning document to be presented next year at the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples organized by the United Nations.
According to estimates produced by this organization, indigenous girls in Laos attend school two hours per day while in India they attend school for only four years. In Latin America, Asia and Africa a large proportion become pregnant during adolescence.
These deficiencies pass unnoticed owing to the lack of knowledge of countries regarding how many indigenous women there are, where they are, and what their situation is. The invisibility of relevant statistics has led to diminished opportunities in life for indigenous women all over the world.
Participation in this conference is open to all indigenous women from the different regions of the world and to any group or agency aimed at the defence of their rights.
Information on the conference will be posted as it becomes available.