The world’s female indigenous leaders point out that natural-resource exploitation is not only unsustainable, but a threat to their lives.
The presence of extractive industries on land belonging to indigenous peoples has degenerated into a state of systematic violence against women, the traditional protectors of the natural environment. From Africa to Latin America, women are evicted from their lands, captured by human trafficking networks, and sexually abused.
Thus asserts the organizing committee of the World Conference of Indigenous Women, held last October in Lima, Peru, and whose representatives yesterday ratified a plan of action to eradicate the violence, discrimination, racism and poverty suffered by indigenous women the world over.
They asked states to draw up a new sustainable, redistributive and solidarity-based economic model. They likewise drew attention to the fact that the participation of local communities in the administration of natural resources has been shown to work effectively, and therefore principles such as that of free, prior and informed consent should be respected.
It was also emphasized that if such forms of violence against indigenous women were continued, traditional knowledge of these natural resources would be lost for ever.
The document is being adopted as a plan of advocacy leading up to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, Cairo +20, Beijing +20 and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, all of which are promoted from the United Nations Organization itself for the creation of a new world agenda.
‘We indigenous women must participate in all the dialogue and decision-making spaces dealing with these topics and others which concern us and our right to political participation.’ they maintained.
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