Mexico, October (SEMlac).- The Mexican government must compulsorily put an end to discrimination, marginalization, land dispossession, poverty and the spiral of gender-based violence, femicide and premature death due to the lack of health services for indigenous women and girls , according to RG39 on their rights adopted last Wednesday, October 25, in Geneva, Switzerland, by the committee of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
The general recommendation was made after 18 years of struggle by the collectives and groups of indigenous women, so that they will be the States that signed the CEDAW from 1979, ratified by Mexico in 1981.
Therefore, it must be fulfilled from now on and will be monitored by women’s organizations, by the Committee that adopted it and by the Human Rights organizations mandated by the Constitution to monitor gender policy in this country, for the benefit of at least five million women from indigenous peoples.
The text is nourished by the demands and experiences of women mobilized for their rights and, despite advances in human rights, governments are obliged to address, promote and resolve the consequences of the historical injustices experienced by girls, adolescents and indigenous women. .
This recommendation calls for an end to the dispossession of their lands, the lack of water, discrimination, their death or illness due to the lack of health services and the obstacles to their political participation, due to the persistence of racism and discrimination.
The document was adopted thanks to the experience of indigenous women, who for years approached the UN; they showed facts, studies and claims about their condition. It forces governments, like Mexico’s, to end trafficking, sexual and labor slavery; against impediments to receiving a good and sufficient education; to respect their spirituality and their cultural and artistic creations and to participate without violence in social and political life.
The voices of indigenous women and girls were heard how they face discrimination and gender-based violence, often committed by authorities: They are highly visible forms of violence and discrimination that often go unpunished.
A historical fact after 18 years
This recommendation became the first instrument derived from the Convention that incorporates all the rights of indigenous women, such as economic, social, cultural and political, making it “a historical fact,” said the president of the Committee, Gladys Acosta Vargas , who told SEMlac that now comes the most difficult part: the implementation of the recommendation that emerged from that women’s struggle that now comes to life.
For her part, Nasheli Ramírez Hernández, president of the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City, told this service that it is noteworthy that, in this capital of the Republic, there are at least 289,139 indigenous people, of which 146,619 are women and 142,520 men.
The document points out that indigenous women and girls also often have an inextricable bond and relationship with their peoples, lands, territories, natural resources, culture and worldview. And it says that, in addition, to address and prevent discrimination against indigenous women and girls, it is necessary to integrate a gender perspective, of indigenous women, into government actions; intersectionality, intercultural and multidisciplinary.
The recommendation that was adopted is RG39 on the rights of indigenous women and girls, embodied in a nine-page document that summarizes the demands and hopes of indigenous women.
Points out that governments will have to address the consequences of historical injustices stemming from policies of forced assimilation and will need to provide support and reparations to affected communities, as part of justice, reconciliation and the process of building societies free of discrimination and violence against indigenous women and girls.
Governments are obliged to act not only in rural areas, but also in urban areas and cities, where indigenous women and girls face racism, discrimination, the effects of assimilation policies and violence. This is the case of the 40 groups in Mexico City.
Just before the end of the sessions
The adoption was made 48 hours after the end of the Committee Sessions, which affirms that indigenous women’s organizations recognize progress in respect and guarantees for the fulfillment of human rights, but demand true protection and guarantees from their governments. , since this is still insufficient.
The General Recommendation identifies the key role of indigenous women as leaders, carriers of knowledge and transmitters of culture within their peoples, communities, families and society as a whole.
Until now, the Convention does not mention indigenous women in its text and does not establish specific obligations for the States, which is an obstacle to its demand. The indigenous women allege that the scope of some of the rights does not include the particular forms in which they experience and criticize the limited attention of the Committee.
The text indicates that, between 1994 and 2011, only 69 national reports out of a total of 332 refer to indigenous women, so now the General Recommendation seeks to “guide” the States on legislative, political and other measures to guarantee compliance with its obligations in relation to the rights of indigenous women and girls under the principles established by CEDAW.
Once adopted, it should apply to indigenous women and girls, both within and outside indigenous territories.
The text of the recommendation gives a voice to indigenous women as driving agents and leaders within and outside their communities, the same voice that has been taken into account in the process of its preparation.
What are the rights protected by the Recommendation?
Today the states will be obliged and will be monitored by the Committee to guarantee the rights of indigenous women and girls, such as those living in voluntary isolation; to their self-determination and to the integrity of their lands, territories and natural resources, their culture, their worldview and their environment.
Another outstanding aspect is the obligation of the States to guarantee their rights to effective participation, consultation, and consent before the adoption and application of legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.
Considers that one of the fundamental causes of the discrimination they experience is the inadequate application of their right to self-determination and autonomy, manifested in the continuous dispossession of their lands, territories and natural resources, not respecting the vital bond between women indigenous peoples and their territories constitute the basis of their culture, identity, spirituality, ancestral knowledge and survival.
Today, these indigenous women face a lack of legal recognition of their rights to land and territories and large gaps in the application of existing laws to protect their collective rights.
On top of that, gender-based violence that negatively affects their lives, including psychological, physical, sexual, economic, spiritual, political and environmental violence, as well as domestic and workplace violence; that exercised in public, educational, health, penitentiary and labor institutions.
Warns that indigenous women and girls are disproportionately at risk of rape and harassment; gender-based murders and femicides; disappearances; human trafficking; contemporary forms of slavery; exploitation of prostitution of women and girls; sexual bondage; and domestic work that is not decent, safe and adequately paid.
The Committee highlights in particular the seriousness of discrimination and gender violence against these women with disabilities who live in institutions.
Environmental problems, such as climate change, are an obstacle to the rights to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment; they must have access to food and water security, and to their survival and cultural integrity.
The Committee calls on States Parties to develop and adopt comprehensive laws and policies to eliminate discrimination against indigenous women and girls, focused on the effective participation of indigenous women and girls living inside and outside indigenous territories.
The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), in a bulletin, welcomed the adoption of the Recommendation and highlighted that it is the first international instrument that includes a holistic perspective of the different dimensions of the human rights of women, youth and indigenous girls, as well as the obligation of States regarding the promotion and protection of these rights. She highlighted the importance of this instrument to combat the discrimination that affects indigenous girls, adolescents and women.
He pointed out that the regulatory framework of its powers, the CNDH “commits to monitor and follow up on compliance with this Recommendation.”
Mexico forced to render accounts and care for five million indigenous women