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12 November, 2019

Participation of indigenous women in the design of public policy is requisite for its success

Tarcila Rivera Zea, expert member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, made this declaration in the Summit on Population and Development that will take place in Nairobi.

“The only way to ensure that States respond to our realities and aspirations is through our participation in decision-making that affects our lives”, mentioned the expert member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in a declaration issued on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, CIPD25.

The focus of this Conference is on actions taken to save maternal lives, satisfy world demand on contraceptive methods and stop violence against women, young women and girls towards 2030. The summit for the 25th year anniversary of the Conference will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, from November 12th to 14th, and is hosted by the governments of Kenya and Denmark, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

“Apart from strengthening normative frameworks, it is necessary to create specific state institutions that have the proper budget to achieve a real impact, and to create awareness among government officials. Additionally, it is crucial to build capacity and strengthen our organizations”, added Ms Rivera Zea.
The Nairobi Summit takes place 25 years after the International Conference on Population and Development, where 179 States committed to ensure sexual and reproductive health, education and the political and economic participation of women.

“The adoption of the Cairo Programme of Action was an important leap forward on recognizing the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, women, childhood and youth in the international agenda regarding population and development by committing States to acknowledge and support our identity, culture and interests and to allow our full participation in the economic, political and social life of our counties, especially in matters affecting our health, education and well-being”, recalled Ms Rivera Zea.

She also added that “the Cairo Programme of Action is being implemented in an adverse context for indigenous peoples, women, childhood and youth defined by the expansion of extractive industries and agribusiness, the climate crisis, the pharmaceutical and food companies that make business and commercialize our health, the lack of regulation of business activities, the militarization of our territories, the lack of opportunities to get access to adequate education, capacity-building and jobs, the presence of fundamentalist and anti-rights groups, and the criminalization and murder of human rights and Mother Earth defenders”.

The also director of CHIRAPAQ, Center for Indigenous Cultures of Peru, made a call to States and the United Nations system to disseminate, implement and follow up on the recommendations of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which include real actions to make progress on the exercise of our rights regarding population and development.

These measures would include carrying out a legal review of conventions on chemical products that affect the reproductive health of indigenous women, including indigenous knowledge and practice in healthcare services, providing culturally appropriate services to combat gender and sexual violence, adapting sexual education to each cultural context, acknowledging the role of indigenous midwives and formulating intercultural norms and indicators for quality service, among others.

The Nairobi Summit gathers high-level government officials, opinion leaders, technical experts, religious leaders, community activists and organizers, young people, business leaders, indigenous peoples, international financial institutions, people with a disability, academics and many other people engaged in health, and sexual and reproductive rights.

Ms Rivera Zea is going with Elvira Pablo, a young indigenous lawyer from Mexico that will take the demands of young women that are part of the Continental Network of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (ECMIA), of which CHIRAPAQ is a member.

Position paper Tarcila Rive…

Download the statement here.