Maribeth Bugtong

Maribeth Bugtong

December 17-20, 2014

Baguio City, Philippines



Concept Note


We, the women of the original peoples of the world have struggled actively to defend our rights to self-determination and to our territories which have been invaded and colonized by powerful nations and interests. We have been and are continuing to suffer from multiple oppressions; as Indigenous peoples, as citizens of colonized and neo-colonial countries, as women, and as members of the poorer classes of society. In spite of this, we have been and continue to protect, transmit, and develop our Indigenous cosmovision, our science and technologies, our arts and culture, and our Indigenous socio-political economic systems, which are in harmony with the natural laws of mother earth. We still retain the ethical and esthetic values, the knowledge and philosophy, the spirituality, which conserves and nurtures Mother Earth. We are persisting in our struggles for self-determination and for our rights to our territories. This has been shown in our tenacity and capacity to withstand and survive the colonization happening in our lands in the last 500 years.”

( Para 5, Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women, 1995)

Almost 20 years have passed since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Hairou, Beijing, China where the indigenous women came up with their own Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women. Twelve years later, in 2007, the indigenous peoples achieved the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Yet, the respect, promotion and filfillment of the rights of indigenous peoples remains to be a challenge. Discrimination and violence against indigenous women persists as they and their communities continue to protect their lands, territories and resources, culture and spirituality from the erosive influences of neo-colonial macroeconomic development paradigm that drives the political and economic directions of states.


In 2000, the States committed to the Millenium Development Goals, targetting to end poverty and to meet the needs of the world’s poor. Fourteen years later, indigenous peoples are still generally discriminated and in the margins of poverty deprived of their basic means of livelihoods and lagging behind in terms of development. This comes as a result of indigenous peoples' exclusion from the MDG deliberations and decisionmaking. On September 2015, the States will adopt a post-2015 development agenda set in the Sustainable Development Goals which the indigenous peoples are trying to influence.


Today, we are not only challenged by conflicting development paradigms that has impacted on the global economy and governance. We are now witnessing the wrath of Mother Earth globally due to decades of resource extraction and accumulation of wealth, resulting to the unpredictable weather conditions and disasters which disproportionately impact on indigenous women and their communities.

Amidst these crises, indigenous peoples are offering solutions based on their perspectives of development and generations of practice and knowledge as their contribution to sustaining life. The World Conference of Indigenous Women, affirmed that Indigenous women have knowledge, wisdom, and practical experience, which has sustained human societies over generations. We, as mothers, life givers, culture bearers, and economic providers, nurture the linkages across generations and are the active sources of continuity and positive change.” (Lima Declaration of the World Conference of Indigenous Women, December 2013).

Next year, a lot of international agreements are undergoing review of implementation. For women, an interesting process is the Beijing + 20 Review which will be the major agenda of the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women focusing on the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPA) which was adopted during the 4th World Conference on Women in China in 1992. It will take into consideration the challenges of its implementation and the achievements of gender equality and women empowerment.

Another major development which indigenous peoples must be actively looking at is the Outcome Document adopted at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP). The outcome document outlines the commitments of States towards the realization of indigenous peoples rights reaffirming their support to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). It has specific provision on violence against indigenous women and girls and their empowerment.


To this end and in consideration of the persistent challenges among indigenous women, the Asian Indigenous Women’s Network (AIWN) is organizing an orientation workshop on Indigenous Peoples’ Self-Determined and Sustainable Development (IPSSDD) as a strategy to define the kind of development we want as indigenous peoples and as women. IPSSDD is based on the holistic and integrated worldview of indigenous peoples. It adheres to, promotes and link different approaches which are currently very relevant for indigenous peoples i.e human rights, ecosystems, interculturality and traditional knowledge. The gender and intergenerational dimensions should cross-cut through all these approaches.


Objectives of the workshop


  1. To understand the multiple crises and the fundamental social, political, economic and ecological challenges and how these particularly impact on indigenous women;

  2. Enhance understanding of the core concepts and principles of Indigenous Peoples’ Sustainable and Self-Determined Development;

  3. Provide updates on recent and upcoming international processes relevant to indigenous peoples and women; and

  4. Come up with an action plan and document/report on indigenous women for the Beijing+ 20 Review/CSW59.

Human Rights Day

10 December 2014, 2:47 am

For more details, please visit


International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Media advisory: UN commemoration of the International Day to End Violence against Women, 25 November 2014: “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood”


For immediate release

Date : 19 November 2014


What: This year’s theme to mark the International Day to End Violence against Women, 25 November, and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence is “Orange Your Neighbourhood”. The colour orange, bright and optimistic, has been designated by the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women to symbolize a better future without this pervasive human rights violation that affects as many as one in three women and girls worldwide. The iconic Empire State Building, the UN Secretariat building and large screens in Times Square in New York will be lit orange to mark the day, along with the official commemoration event at UN Headquarters.

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International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

9 August 2014, 2:36 am

8 August 2014

Theme: "Bridging the gap: implementing the rights of indigenous peoples"

7 to 11 July 2014

United Nations Palais des Nations

Geneva, Switzerland

For more information, please visit

12-23 May 2014

Trusteeship Council Chamber
United Nations Headquarters, New York

Special Theme: “Principles of good governance consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: articles 3 to 6 and 46”


For more details, please check

Realizing Indigenous Women’s Rights: A Handbook on the CEDAW

10 March 2014, 5:59 am

The indigenous women in Asia and in other regions of the world still lack the necessary knowledge and skills in asserting and making their rights a reality. To address this concern, Asian Indigenous Women’s Network and its partners Forest Peoples Programme and Tebtebba came up with a handbook on the International Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

Realizing Indigenous Women’s Rights: A Handbook on the CEDAW provides information on the rights of indigenous women giving details on CEDAW as the only specific instrument for women. The handbook also provides brief overview of other human rights mechanisms the indigenous women can avail of.

The book is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 provides a brief overview of the particular situations of indigenous women in Asia, including the particularities of violence they are experiencing with the prevailing and existing conditions in indigenous communities and territories. Chapter 2 deals with the principles of human rights and the international human rights instruments providing for the rights of women. It focuses on the CEDAW as a specific instrument for protecting the rights of women.


Chapter 3 presents the different mechanisms and possible options that indigenous women may take to seek redress for discrimination or violence. It provides specific information and tools that have been developed in aid of asserting human rights based on the mechanisms and procedures provided for under the CEDAW and other international human rights instruments. The final section, Chapter 4, provides a selection of previous jurisprudence from CEDAW that may assist in making arguments for future submissions to that body, or to national and other international legal instruments.


10 March 2014, 2:26 am

The 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 10 to 21 March 2013.

For more details, visit

will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 10 to 21 March 2014. - See more at: