Indigenous women and girls are amongst the most vulnerable within indigenous communities, being victims of a triple discrimination based on gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Indeed, the Committee of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has underscored the high levels of poverty; low levels of education and illiteracy; limitations in the access to health, basic sanitation, credit and employment; limited participation in political life; and the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence as some of the main issues confronting indigenous women.
Still, indigenous women are the backbone of indigenous communities and play a crucial role in the preservation of food security. They also have a fundamental collective and community role as guardians of indigenous ancestral knowledge, having been traditionally carers of natural resources and managers of seeds and medicinal plants. In addition, they are often taking the lead in the defence of indigenous lands and territories and advocating for indigenous peoples’ collective rights worldwide.
By calling for the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment as a key to eradicating hunger and poverty, the FAO Policy on Gender Equality provides the framework for promoting the rights of indigenous women within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Likewise, gender equality stands out as a core principle for FAO’s Policy on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples and it is a guiding principle mainstreamed in all the activities of the Organization.
Article courtesy of Food And Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations