Thursday, 26th March 2020 - The International Indigenous Women’s Forum together with the regional networks Enlace Continental de Mujeres Indígenas de las Américas (ECMIA), Alianza de Mujeres Indígenas de Centroamérica y México (AMICAM), Asian Indigenous Women’s Network (AIWN), African Indigenous Women’s Organization (AIWO) stands in solidarity with Indigenous women as we continue facing the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19.
This pandemic is increasing intersectional disadvantages already impacting on indigenous women in addition to the impoverishment, limited access to health services and clean water, forced displacement from our territories, degradation of natural resources due to extractive industries, energy projects, and the consequences of climate change that affect Indigenous Peoples in general.
Therefore, Indigenous Women’s networks urge the Member States and the authorities:
To recognize the leadership of the indigenous authorities and their own forms of organization as Indigenous Peoples.
To use indigenous languages within the communities due to the very crucial needs for effective information and preventive actions against COVID 19.
To guarantee the access and management of clean water and sanitation in the indigenous communities.
To ensure rapid availability of disaggregated data of Indigenous Peoples, including on differing rates of infection, economic impacts, differential care burden, deaths, and incidence of gender-based violence in communities.
To ensure equal access of health care, materials and support to indigenous communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. This should be responsive to the culture and situations of Indigenous Peoples including the recognition and support to indigenous health care providers.
To support Indigenous communities who are making the decision in self imposing lockdowns or limitations to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in their communities. Indigenous Peoples already face challenges such as limited medical facilities, health issues and overcrowding housing.
To promote programs, subsidies, policies and strategies that will sustain the economy of indigenous communities, women entrepreneurship, youth, peoples with disabilities, migrants who will be affected due to the social and economic consequences of this pandemic. Most Indigenous Peoples sustain themselves and their families through daily informal economy.
To rethink the economic and social paradigm based on capitalism, the accumulation and privatization of services and natural resources; going back to the collective vision.
Finally, we call to maintain unity, solidarity and reciprocity. This crisis shows us as collective beings, the basic principle of Indigenous Peoples, where we are all interconnected. Therefore, prevention, collective care and spirituality are important for the balance of humanity and Mother earth.
ECMIA, AMICAM, AIWN, AIWO