Thursday, December 7, 2017

Indigenous women and girls are most vulnerable and marginalized in many countries of the world, where they make up an important part of the rural population.

Progress on the rights of indigenous women and girls is central to the reduction of poverty, food security and nutrition, access to land and natural resources, and the protection of traditional knowledge, among others. While the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017, its implementation is lagging behind and today, indigenous communities continue to suffer higher rates of poverty, discriminatory support policies and health services. For example, breastfeeding rates are the lowest in First Nations communities in Canada, in aborigines’ communities in Australia or Maori communities in New Zealand. In isolated communities and on reserves, reproductive health services, prenatal, birthing, post-natal and breastfeeding supports are often not available, or not culturally adapted, let alone in local languages, requiring women to travel to urban centers, isolating pregnant women and new mothers from their families and communities at very vulnerable times in their lives.

 The present document is based, inter alia, on the joint FIAN International submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women for its General Discussion on Rural Women during its 56th Session in October 2013 and highlights the structural causes for violations of rural women’s right to food and nutrition and related human rights.

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