PHILIPPINES: CWEARC Celebrated its Gains in 25 years of Empowering Indigenous Women in the Cordillera

In time for the International Day of Toiling Women, on 8 March 2012, the Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center (CWEARC) celebrated its 25th year of partnership with women’s organizations in the Cordillera region particularly indigenous women in line with its mission of empowering indigenous women in the region.

The occasion was attended by 220 delegates from its local partners of women’s organizations, communities in the region, networks and allies. “Indeed, it was a reunion of women’s organizations and leaders that CWEARC partnered with in different periods of the 25 years of existence of CWEARC”, said Vernie Yocogan-Diano, current executive director of the Center. More

Indigenous groups suffer from higher rates of violence against women

Indigenous Women

From 18 to 20 January 2012, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) held an International Expert Group Meeting at UN Headquarters entitled “Combating violence against indigenous women and girls: Article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” This conference applied a human rights framework to the issue of gender‐ based violence faced by indigenous women, while contextualizing its global manifestations in the context of States’ responsibilities under international human rights law, as articulated in Article 22.2 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP): “States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.”

Focusing especially on issues of policing and jurisdiction, as well as outlining anti‐violence strategies, the experts sought to articulate a holistic approach to addressing violence against women that recognizes indigenous peoples’ ongoing struggles for self‐determination in the face of multidimensional discrimination and socioeconomic disadvantages. The panel characterized violence against indigenous women and girls as a pervasive form of human rights abuse, while drawing attention to the contemporary and historical contexts of indigenous communities and identifying steps towards the enhancement of their capacities and rights. More

Rural and indigenous women of Asia voice their concerns at UN Commission on the Status of Women

ORAL STATEMENT TO THE GENERAL DISCUSSION IN THE 56TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

Thank you for this opportunity to participate in the General Discussion and address the 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. We, nine rural and indigenous women from Southeast and East Asia are here for the first time to voice out our concerns and recommendations to the CSW.

This statement is on behalf of Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) and the Asian Rural Women’s Coalition (ARWC), two leading women’s networks representing rural women, including indigenous women, peasants, agricultural workers, Dalit women, fisherfolks, pastoralists, workers and migrants from more than 25 countries in Asia Pacific region. Asia Pacific has over 65% of population living in rural and remote areas. More

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