The Asian Indigenous Women’s Network (AIWN) was formed in 1993 during the First Conference of Asian Indigenous Women in response to the common experiences of discrimination as women, as indigenous peoples and based on socio-economic class. This was attended by 150 participants from 13 Asian countries. As a loose network of 11 indigenous women’s organizations and 26 indigenous peoples’ organizations with women committees, AIWN has faced several challenges in its aim to organize and consolidate indigenous women’s organizations in the region to engage in all levels and fora affecting their rights and identities as women and as indigenous peoples. AIWN continues to build on these experiences to further raise Asian indigenous women’s voices from their own organizations, to the national and international levels.
Since its inception , AIWN continues to realize its goals through various means in different spaces available. Establishing formations and strengthening of local and national indigenous women's organizations and linking with UN bodies and other indigenous peoples' regional and global networks have been undertaken and continue to be a part of the thrusts of the Network. Formations established include the national network of indigenous women in Thailand (Indigenous Women's Network of Thailand/IWNT), in Nepal (National Network of Indigenous Women/NNIW, National Indigenous Women's Federation/NIWF), in NE India (Indigenous Women's Federation in North East India/IWFNEI) and in Bangladesh (Women Resource Network/WRN). AIWN also continues to be instrumental in highlighting the situation of indigenous women in Asia and in seeking redress and resolutions to discrimination at the UN level such as in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and the CEDAW.
To facilitate its work, AIWN has Country Focal Persons who compose the Coordinating Council. The Coordinating Council is headed by its Convenor, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the former Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and Executive Director of Tebtebba. Tebtebba serves as AIWN’s Secretariat.
The Asian Indigenous Women’s Network wants to support, sustain and help consolidate the various efforts of indigenous women in Asia to critically understand the roots of their marginalized situation and to empower themselves by becoming aware of their rights as women and as indigenous peoples, and by developing their own organizations or structures for empowerment.
Networking and Organizational Consolidation through regular communication in various forms such as the AIWN magazine, listserve, website and surface mail.
- to keep each other updated on developments within their respective organizations and sharing of information through the AIWN Magazine and publications exchange;
- to support indigenous women’s organizations and to help set-up organizations and/or women’s desks, if requested;
- to strengthen the relationships and linkages among and between the members and with other groups and formations; and
- to consolidate the network members through the listserve and through its website www.asianindigenouswomen.org.
Lobbying and Advocacy in the United Nations and multilateral bodies and agencies dealing with indigenous peoples and women, especially on self-determined development, biodiversity and traditional knowledge, climate change, among others; and initiating and participating in campaigns addressing their issues.
- to raise Asian indigenous peoples’ and wo-men’s issues and concerns in the UN and multilateral bodies and processes and other fora such as the UNPFII, Commission on Status of Women, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Wo-men, among others; and
- to undertake campaigns and support ongoing campaigns relevant to the priority concerns of Asian indigenous women.
Capacity building activities of network members through participation in training and education activities, conferences, workshops, exposure programs and relevant processes and activities from the national to the global level.
- to undertake education and awareness-raising on human rights, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and women’s rights;
- to monitor and effectively implement the UNDRIP and the Programme of Action of the Second Decade of the World’s Indi-genous People (2005-2015);
- to hold skills-training activities to enhance the capacities of indigenous women to undertake organizing, research, education, campaigns management, advocacy and lobbying, livelihood development; and to develop their leadership potentials; and
- to facilitate the participation of indigenous women in regional and international processes.
Engendering indigenous peoples’ organizations and networks by undertaking gender analysis of indigenous peoples’ issues and sensitizing them on indigenous women’s issues and perspectives.
Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education)
RUKMINI PAATA TOHEKE
Alyansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN)
Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand (IWAT)
VU THI HANH
(Tay Nung Muong, Vietnam)
Center for Sustainable Development in Mountainous Areas (CSDM)
Palaung Women’s Organization
Dongba Culture Institute of Lijiang
JAMAINAH Bt. DADONG
Community Education Program, Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS)
Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD)
Founder, Association of Newar Women
President, National Network of Indigenous Women (NNIW)
Association for Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Policies (ATIPP)
Coordinator, Alliance of Indigenous Women’s Organization in the Philippines (BAI)
Executive Member, TAUNGYA
Women’s Resource Network
President, Naga Women’s Union