FAO launches campaign to empower indigenous women in Asia and Pacific

Asia is home to the largest number of indigenous peoples on Earth, with an estimated 260 million of a total of 370 million original inhabitants worldwide.


Yet Asian indigenous peoples are among the poorest of the poor, often facing denial of rights, discrimination, marginalization and loss of control over their lands and natural resources. Within this context, indigenous women are the most vulnerable, facing a “triple discrimination” on the basis of their ethnicity, socio-economic condition and gender. This threefold discrimination reverberates through all aspects of their lives, limiting the contributions that they could provide to sustainable development and achieving the Zero Hunger goal by 2030.

In response, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and other partners have launched an awareness-raising campaign to empower this group of disadvantaged women.

“Indigenous women are key allies in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. They contribute to sustainable livelihoods as food producers, guardians of native seeds and custodians of traditional knowledge. Yet they are invisible, and their rights are not recognized nor protected’, said Naw Ei Ei Min, of the group Karen Indigenous Women from Myanmar.

The campaign, featured on the side lines of last month’s 34th Session of FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, will run until the end of 2018.

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