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Tuesday, September 10, 2019
While parts of the Amazon are in flames across Brazil and eastern Bolivia—from fires largely caused by burning to clear arable land—communities in northern Bolivia are protecting their forests through a series of economic empowerment projects.
Friday, August 2, 2019
UN Women joins all indigenous peoples everywhere, especially indigenous women and girls, in commemorating the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year’s theme of “Indigenous Languages” challenges us to ensure that indigenous women and girls have a voice—quite literally—in the diverse political, civil, social, economic and cultural spaces that they occupy.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Agnes Leina is an Indigenous woman from northern Kenya. She is the founder and Executive Director of the I’llaramatak Community Concerns (ICC), a resource centre offering livelihood options for women and working with pastoralist communities to recognize the equal value and potential of women and girls to contribute towards their families and communities. Ms. Leina was one of the participants of the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the UN’s largest annual gathering on women’s rights issues.
Monday, April 22, 2019
Sonia Maribel Sontay Herrera is an indigenous woman and human rights defender from Guatemala. Her vision is for Guatemala to respect the rights of indigenous women and hear their voices.
Monday, November 12, 2018
Elisa Zepeda Lagunas, 34, is an aquaculture engineer, Mazatec indigenous leader and women’s rights defender who has suffered intense violence due to her political activism.
Friday, October 19, 2018
During the 36-year-long Guatemalan civil war, indigenous women were systematically raped and enslaved by the military in a small community near the Sepur Zarco outpost. What happened to them then was not unique, but what happened next, changed history. From 2011 – 2016, 15 women survivors fought for justice at the highest court of Guatemala. The groundbreaking case resulted in the conviction of two former military officers of crimes against humanity and granted 18 reparation measures to the women survivors and their community. The abuelas of Sepur Zarco, as the women are respectfully referred to, are now waiting to experience justice. Justice, for them, includes education for the children of their community, access to land, a health-care clinic and such measures that will end the abject poverty their community has endured across generations. Justice must be lived.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
In Samoa, the term ‘nofotane’ refers to indigenous women who, after marriage, live in their husband’s village with the husband’s family. Nofotane is an identity that defines their low social stature in the village. Traditionally, they were not allowed to dress as other women in the village and often denied any voice in decision-making within their homes and communities. The Fund for Gender Equality project implemented by Samoa Victims Support Group, improved nofotane women’s access to sustainable employment and increased their participation and leadership within village decision-making bodies.
Monday, August 6, 2018
UN Women joins our sister UN agencies in today’s recognition of the vital importance of the world’s indigenous peoples. At a time when human mobility is on the increase, we recognize that together, they maintain 80 per cent of global biodiversity. All of humanity is indebted to their custodianship.
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Irlanda Pop is the Mayor of Lanquín, a municipality in the Alta Verapaz department of Guatemala. She is the only indigenous Mayor and one of ten women Mayors in the country. Elected in 2015 for a term of four years, Pop has survived serious political attacks and continues to fight discrimination on account of her gender and indigenous identity. UN Women supported Pop to participate in the IV Ibero-American Summit of Local Gender Agendas that took place in Cuenca, Ecuador, in May 2018. There, she led an exchange between women leaders of different indigenous communities of the region about political participation of indigenous women and how to address violence against women in politics. UN Women supports the leadership of women in politics and peacebuilding in Guatemala through several initiatives, including through Women’s Political Empowerment and Leadership flagship programme.
Monday, July 23, 2018
Matcha Phorn-in is the Executive Director of Sangsan Anakot Yaowachon, a civil society organization working with young people from marginalized communities, many of whom are indigenous, in disaster-prone Thai villages at the border with Myanmar. Phorn-in is from an ethnic minority and defines herself as a lesbian feminist human-rights defender, and her organization, supports women to become leaders and raise their communities' awareness regarding human rights, gender equality, and issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Indigenous women of Guatemala’s Polochic valley are feeding their families, growing their businesses and saving more money than ever before, with the help of a joint UN programme that’s empowering rural women.
Monday, June 11, 2018
Ruth Kihiu is a Programme Manager at The Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC), which works to socio-economically empower marginalized pastoralist Maasai women in Ngorongoro, Monduli, and Longido districts in Tanzania, through livelihood and income-generating activities. PWC, supported by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, also aims to educate women and girls about their rights and equip them with leadership skills.
Friday, April 27, 2018
Sandra Moran is Guatemala’s first openly lesbian member of the Congress. She organized the country’s first lesbian group in 1995, and was elected in 2015. She is well-known for her vocal support for women’s rights, indigenous women’s rights and LGBT rights in Guatemala.
Monday, April 23, 2018
For Reem El-Dabbagh, from Gaza, Palestine, there’s no better sector for women than ICTs, with its limitless potential for growth. She is currently developing a web application which will provide comprehensive online services for survivors of gender-based violence.
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Purity Soinato Oiyie is a Maasai girl from Kenya who escaped Female Genital Mutilation and child marriage. She spoke at the opening session of the 62nd UN Commission on the Status of Women, the UN’s largest gathering on gender equality and women’s rights. In her own words, she shares her story and her dream to start a school for girls in her community.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Indigenous peoples live across 90 countries, represent 5,000 different communities and speak a majority of the worlds languages. They account for less than 6 per cent of the world’s population, but make up 15 per cent of the poorest worldwide. As more than 1,000 indigenous representatives come together in New York for the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, this year focusing on the theme “Indigenous peoples’ collective rights to lands, territories and...
Monday, April 16, 2018
As the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues opens today at the UN, focusing on the theme of “Indigenous peoples’ collective rights to lands, territories and resources”, here is what Alice Lesepen has to say. From the indigenous community of Rendille Community in Marsabit County, Kenya, Ms. Lesepen works with women at the grassroots level, with a focus on the empowerment of indigenous women. She spoke to UN Women recently on what are the top priorities of her community.
Monday, November 27, 2017
Part three of a 16-part blog series by UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on the occasion of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
In Samoa, indigenous women marrying outside their home village are referred as “nofotane”. Nofotane women are often denied any voice in decision-making within their homes and communities. With the support of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, the Samoa Victims Support Group raised awareness and advocated for nofotane women’s rights. As a result, a nofotane representative now sits in village council meetings, and men and women alike are changing their attitudes about gender equality.
Friday, August 4, 2017
On 9 August, we commemorate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples to bring to bring attention to the rights and achievements of indigenous peoples.