Saturday, January 5, 2019

Poverty and obstacles to earning a decent and good quality living 17/20



Chapter 6-4
213. Indigenous peoples in the Americas endure lower levels of economic and social development as compared to the non-indigenous population. Indigenous women are usually the most affected, inasmuch as they generally have less access to education and employment than indigenous men. According to the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the basic needs of 23.5% of indigenous households in Argentina go unmet, while the percentage of non-indigenous homes with unmet basic needs is 13.8%.530 For its part, the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples notes that in Mexico, 7.4 million persons live in extreme poverty, of which 60% are indigenous.531 Information from the World Bank indicates that 61% of indigenous persons in El Salvador live in conditions of poverty and 38.3% in extreme poverty.532

214. ECLAC has noted that indigenous and non-indigenous women tend to be mainly employed in the tertiary labor sector, which mostly includes commerce and services. 533 Unlike non-indigenous women, indigenous women also play an important role in the primary sector, as a great many of them live in rural areas. In the past years, a shift has been detected among indigenous women from traditional family farming and animal husbandry to other economic sectors, as well as the increased participation by women as labor in agroindustrial exports, and farm work, among other things.534

215. The IACHR has previously expressed its concern over indigenous women, whose human rights are especially at risk, given that their labor rights are usually not adequately protected by laws and regulations.535 A high number of indigenous women belong to the category of unpaid workers, to a greater extent not only than non-indigenous women, but also than indigenous men.536 In urban areas, a high number of indigenous women are engaged in domestic work.537 As domestic workers, they usually do not have social security, they face discrimination, as well as long workdays, among other difficult conditions. 

216. Based on the information received by the IACHR, indigenous women in Guatemala usually work as domestic help without being paid decent wages, and are often exposed to different forms of violence and discrimination.538 The State of Peru indicated in its response to the IACHR questionnaire that indigenous women are more affected by unemployment and  underemployment than the rest of the population; they often perform nonremunerated jobs or are paid lower wages for the same job. In Mexico, the 2009 Survey on Indigenous Women’s Health and Rights (ENSADEMI) reflected that the vast majority - or 76.22% - of indigenous women, are either: self-employed (59.96%), work at home (9.84%) or without pay at family-owned businesses (6.42%).539
217. Indigenous women tend to have less access to social security than the rest of the population. The Commission has received information indicating that indigenous women in the Autonomous Region of the Northern Atlantic in Nicaragua do not have social security coverage even though they are entitled to it under the Constitution, because they mostly work in the informal sector and not under any contractual agreement.540 This same situation can be seen in Mexico where, according to statistics from the Federal Government’s 2013-2018 Social Development sectorial program, 81% of the indigenous population in rural areas does not have access to social security, as compared to 59.1% of the non-indigenous population.541
218. The IACHR notes that States have the obligation to create the conditions that will enable women to have full access to and control over their economic resources, unencumbered by any form of discrimination. This obligation entails devoting priority attention to women in the most vulnerable situations, such as indigenous women, who usually face the greatest obstacles in accessing and controlling their resources.542


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