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MAIRIN IWANKA RAYA: Indigenous Women Stand Against Violence


A Companion Report to the United Nations Secretary-General's Study ... Rape as a weapon of war aims to subjugate and colonize entire communities and peoples ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: MAIRIN IWANKA RAYA: Indigenous Women Stand Against Violence

MAIRIN IWANKA RAYA Indigenous Women Stand
Against Violence
  • A Companion Report to the United Nations
    Secretary-Generals Study on Violence Against
  • International Indigenous Womens Forum
  • FIMI

FIMI International Indigenous Womens Forum
  • The regional representatives of FIMI work on the
    whole to articulate the demands of the Indigenous
    Peoples movement.
  • Equality and non-discrimination and the
    Principle of the Seventh Generation guides FIMI(
    all decision-making is done taking into
    consideration the impact of ones actions on the
    welfare of the seventh generation to come) are
    the main principles underpinning FIMI's work.
  • The companion report to the UN Secretary-Generals
    Study reflects the history and contemporary
    experiences of Indigenous women.

FIMIs Concerns
  • Historic denial of the rights of Indigenous
  • Backward movement of the States with respect to
    womens rights, Indigenous Peoples rights, and
    human rights.
  • The War on Terror after September 11th.
  • Highly politicized notions of culture.
  • Sexual and reproductive rights.

Goals of the Report
  • Propose an indigenous conception of gender-based
  • Emphasize the importance of studying violence
    against women in relation to aspects of identity
    that are beyond gender, using an approach that
    accounts for the ways in which identities and
    systems of domination interact to create the
    conditions of womens lives.
  • Communicate Indigenous womens viewpoints to
    allies and colleagues.
  • Contribute to the work of civil society
    organizations to combat violence against
    Indigenous women.
  • Highlight promising practices.
  • Contextualize situations of violence, illuminate
    root causes.
  • Introduce new concepts and questions about
    violence against indigenous women.

Indigenous Womens Perspective on Violence
Against Women
  • Shaped by mutually reinforcing factors
  • Colonization and militarism
  • Racism, discrimination and social exclusion
  • Poverty
  • Patriarchy
  • Intersectionality interrelations between
    distinct aspects of identity.
  • Requires an integrated analysis within a human
    rights framework violence based on distinct but
    overlapping identities.
  • Violence is nearly universal, defined by
    gender-based discrimination.

Three Interrelated Fields
  • Overcoming the dichotomy between individual and
    collective rights and recognizing collective
    rights as a necessary complement to individual
  • Example individual rights cannot be enjoyed
    unless collective rights are recognized.
  • The systemic violation of collective rights of
    Indigenous Peoples is the single greatest risk
    factor for gender-based violence.
  • Territories basis of our identities.
  • Securing Indigenous womens rights in
    particular, the right to freedom from violence as
    defined by Indigenous women is integral for
    securing the rights of the Indigenous Peoples as
    a whole.
  • UN Declaration of the Indigenous Peoples right
    to freely determine political status and
    economic, social, and cultural development.

Indigenous Conception of Violence Against Women
  • Revisit categories family, community, State.
  • Consider legal framework in which the past and
    the future matter, ancestors and future
    generations are integral members of our
  • Indigenous womens notions of territories,
    boundaries, citizenship, and residence that shape
    relationships with States are different.
  • Violence originates in the global arena include
    transnational category (example border crossing,
    trafficking of indigenous women).
  • Ecological violence impact of policies and
    practices that harm the earth, climate stability,
    ecosystems, health, livelihoods, social status,
    and cultural survival of Indigenous women.
  • Spiritual violence impact of systemic attack on
    indigenous spiritual practices and of violence
    against women, desecration of sacred sites,etc.
  • Clarify difference between gender-based violence
    and violence against women
  • Example displacement is not an act of
    gender-based violence domestic violence
    (spiritual or cultural dislocation forced
    assimilation) is an act of racism because the
    woman is Indigenous.

Manifestations of Violence in the Lives of
Indigenous Women
  • Neoliberalism and development aggression against
    Indigenous women
  • Patriarchy
  • Violence in the name of tradition
  • State violence and domestic violence
  • Armed conflict and militarization
  • Migration and displacement

Neoliberalism and Development Aggression Against
Indigenous women
  • Spiritual violence degradation of the earth as a
    form of violence against women.
  • Economic violence polluted maize (gift from
  • Biopiracy and Intellectual Property Rights
    related to Trade (TRIPS) the privatization of
    genetic resources to obtain patent rights.
  • Plunder of natural resources
  • Water
  • Extractive Industries
  • Impact on cultural values, self-development and
    sustainable practices
  • Cultural imperialism tied to economic
  • Intergenerational family violence (or elder
    abuse) threaten the survival of Indigenous
  • Disproportionate use of Indigenous territories as
    dumping sites.

Violence in the Name of Tradition
  • Cultural practices are fluid, contested, and
    connected to relations of power.
  • Respect for cultural differences can exist
    simultaneously with the belief that cultural
    practices and beliefs can and do change.
  • Culture is part of the context in which abuses
    occur, but it does not justify abuses.
  • Culture can be used as a source of resistance to
  • Stereotype of Backward cultures
    Protectionist logic

Rights vs. Culture The False Dichotomy and the
Reconciliation Between Culture and Human Rights
  • Cultural relativism has been used to shield human
    rights abuses by designating them as cultural
    it argues the inherent tension between universal
    human rights standards and local cultural
  • The need to overcome the premise that culture
    oppresses women.
  • Many cultures transmit values that condemn
    violence against women cooperation, harmony,
    balance, and respect.
  • The main challenge is to make human rights norms
    accessible and meaningful in local communities,
    deconstructing religions and cultures.

The State and Domestic Violence
  • Laws as source of violence
  • The need to develop complementary processes
  • Restorative justice
  • Risk of domestic violence increases because of
    correlation with other human rights violations
    and with State racism (neglect, inaction).
  • Look beyond the criminal dichotomy of victim and
    perpetrator look for the reasons why the crime
    occurs, including the conditions that form the
    perpetrators psychological, moral, and spiritual
    status, and for the connection to violations of
    Indigenous Peoples collective rights.

Armed Conflict and Militarization
  • Relations with resources-rich territories of
    Indigenous Peoples
  • Resource wars contests over land, water,
    precious minerals, and energy sources, tied to
    neoliberalism and development aggression
  • Taming the frontier destruction, eradicating
    savage ways of life
  • Rape as a weapon of war aims to subjugate and
    colonize entire communities and peoples

Indigenous Women as Promoters of Peace
  • The role of the Indigenous women as promoters of
    peace is rooted in cultural values and historical
  • Indigenous women provide care to communities
    affected by armed conflicts.
  • The need to promote Indigenous womens leadership
    in official peace processes and to support their
    capabilities and experiences as mediators and
    negotiators within communities.

Migration and Displacement of Indigenous Women
  • Related to economical and development policies
  • Urban settings new forms of violence and social
    consequences that increase violence with no
    support from the traditional community and
  • Criminalization of migrants in US increases
  • Femicide
  • Forced assimilation cultural genocide
  • Displacement
  • Refugees in the name of Conservation to justify
    state control over territories and resources of
    Indigenous Peoples

Growing Prevalence of HIV/AIDS Among Indigenous
Promising Practices Nicaragua Restoring
Indigenous Rights and Defending Human Rights of
Women and Men
  • Preserve and develop traditional roles,
    transmitting knowledge and cultural values
  • Strengthen womens social status and confidence.
  • Promote womens human rights and collective human
    rights of their people
  • Restorative justice that combines the official
    practices of traditional justice systems with the
    benefits of international human rights norms
  • Community-based conflict mediation programs
  • Training in human rights for community members
  • Intergenerational dialogues.

Promising Practices Kenya Funding an
Independent, Women-Run Community
  • Negotiate land and resources
  • Seek international justice against aggressors
  • Human rights training
  • Strengthen womens political mobilization
  • Promote womens participation in community
    development processes
  • Economic autonomy develop a system of sharing
    resources, sickness/disability fund, etc.
  • Educate young girls

Promising Practices Developing Indicators to
Measure Violence Against Indigenous Women
  • Guidelines proposed by FIMI
  • Level of protection, fulfillment, and respect of
    collective rights
  • Support of the Declaration on the Rights of
    Indigenous Peoples by the government
  • Level of control over territory and natural
    resources and enjoyment of sovereignty over food
  • Level of respect of womens dignity in government
    policy. Measures adopted to avoid physical and
    structural violence (bodies, homes, communities,
    and peoples)
  • Access to government services (intercultural
    education, healthcare, water, sanitation,
    housing, transportation, justice)
  • Allocation of resources
  • Data desegregation
  • Adoption of policies and programs based on free,
    prior, and informed consent
  • Occupation of Indigenous territories
  • Policies to eradicate racism and respect
  • Level of internalized racism and sexism
  • Location of Indigenous women within historical
  • Level of perception of Indigenous womens lives
    in relation to their ecosystems

  • Develop new concepts
  • Indigenous definition of violence against women
    and gender-based violence
  • Cultural indicators based on individual and
    collective rights that can adequately expose and
    reflect on the prevalence of violence against
    Indigenous women
  • Desegregation of data by ethnicity
  • Strengthen Indigenous womens advocacy
  • Education
  • Support community-based initiatives to combat
  • Public education directed at Indigenous and
    non-Indigenous sectors
  • Data collection
  • Develop new methods of investigation, including
    methods of desegregated data collection on
    Indigenous women
  • Action-oriented studies that respond to women
    living in situations of violence
  • Document violence against Indigenous women
  • Public Policy
  • National judicial system includes collective
    rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Incorporate traditional, indigenous processes of
    justice in national judicial systems
  • Human rights training for police and other state

  • Promote Indigenous womens leadership
  • Education, training, and capacity-building at all
  • Information technology
  • Allocate resources to support initiatives in
    local, national, and international arenas
  • Advance Indigenous Peoples rights
  • Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
    must be approved without amendments

  • International Indigenous Womens Forum
  • 121 West 27th Street, 301
  • New York, NY 10001
  • Tel (1) 212 627 0444
  • Fax (1) 212 675 3704
  • Email
  • Website http//