Indigenous women’s maternal health and maternal mortality

The global review of 20 years of implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action reveals that indigenous women across the world face disproportionate levels of discrimination, exclusion, and violence. Ensuring that no indigenous women are left behind as beneficiaries and actors of development is therefore integral to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Evidence from available data on indigenous women’s maternal health indicates that, across the globe, indigenous women and adolescent girls experience significantly worse maternal health outcomes than majority populations. Yet, due to a lack of data, this alarming situation is concealed, preventing effective action to address it.

To help draw attention to this issue, UNFPA, UNICEF, and UN Women developed this fact sheet as a follow-up to a recommendation made at the 15th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2016, and presented it to the 17th session of the Permanent Forum in 2018. The fact sheet brings together available data from 16 low- and middle-income countries on the maternal health status of indigenous women and adolescent girls, analysing the barriers behind these huge disparities, and identifying actions that can be taken to close the gap.

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Bibliographic information

Subject area(s): Indigenous women; Health; Maternal health

Resource type: Briefs

UN Women office involved in publication: UN Women Headquarters

Publication year: 2018

Number of pages: 8

Publishing entities: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women); United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)