Indigenous Peoples

An urgent call to guarantee the participation of indigenous women in decision-making processes

The empowerment of indigenous women is not only a central issue but also a necessary condition to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in the world.

18/07/2018 - 

The Violet Chair represents the place of indigenous women in negotiating tables, dialogue spaces and policy-making processes.

This initiative is part of the Global Campaign for the Empowerment of Indigenous Women for Zero Hunger,launched by FAO in January 2018, with the collaboration of the International Indigenous Women Forum (FIMI/IIWF) and the News Agency of Indigenous and Afro-descendent Women (NOTIMIA).

“We need everyone to know how important indigenous women are to our food security and we must listen to them”, said FAO’s Director General, José Graziano Da Silva. “We call on countries to stand up and guarantee a place at the table for indigenous women in policy-making processes. Without them, we cannot achieve the Zero Hunger Goal, and we will not achieve sustainable development”.

Under the slogan, #IndigenousWomen, Visible Women, the campaign aims at making indigenous women’s challenges and contributions visible as a necessary step to “leave no one behind” in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Agenda, particularly to reach the Zero Hunger Goal.

There are approximately 185 million indigenous women in the world. They play an important role in ending hunger: many of them are fisherwomen, pastoralists or hunter-gatherers, other practice agriculture. They are also custodian of seeds and traditions, for example in relation to the collection and use of medicinal plants.

Indigenous women are also leaders in the defence of indigenous land, territories and natural resources, and are guardians of ancestral knowledge.

However, despite their economic and social contribution, indigenous women have low levels of participation in decision-making processes.

Their work is often undervalued and unpaid, their rights are not always respected nor recognized, and their work and needs are not represented in statistics.

Because of this invisibility, resources and public policies fail to address their specific needs.

The #VioletChair is a call to countries, the international community, academia, civil society, media and indigenous peoples to guarantee the full and effective participation of indigenous women in decision-making processes that affect them and their communities.

 “I always stress the importance of taking indigenous women into account, because we are not people who need assistance or who are eternally vulnerable.We are agents of change.We have potential, but this potential needs to be catalysed and used in order for us to participate fully in the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for development” emphasized Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Take action!

  • Get a #VioletChair and put it in a place of high visibility. The chair can be decorated with indigenous textiles, symbols or handicrafts in violet tones.
  • Use a #VioletChair in presidiums, round tables, panel discussions, and any other dialogue space where there should be an indigenous woman participating and raising her voice on behalf of indigenous women.
  • Take a picture with the #VioletChair and share it on your website and social media channels calling to guarantee the full and effective participation of indigenous women in decision-making processes that affect them and their communities.
  • Invite interested organizations, counterparts or allies to support the initiative.  

More information: Indigenous Women Campaign

Share your activities through@FAOIndigenous and [email protected]

Look at the pictures:#VioletChair Gallery

Download the Campaign kit: Communication Kit