Women Deserve Land Rights Too

This meeting was held to discuss women’s land rights, particularly in reference to the Agenda 2030 goals.

Mrs. Mucavi served as chair, asking “why do we need to care about women and land in the context of the Agenda goals?” She observed how men are often seen as the main source of food security and income, but this does not and should not hold true. Additionally, she noted that land is in fact an asset for individuals — one that can be rented or even sold when faced with economic hardship.

Mr. Stloukal pointed out the true indicators of the outcomes of process and legal changes should be seen as complementing one another, and they help us set priorities on women and access to land, as well as oblige countries to improve the land rights of women. He noted some difficulties, but in general national household and agricultural surveys have worked.

Ms. Pandolfelli pointed out the EDGE Objectives. EDGE stands for evidence and data for gender equality, and the objective of edge is to develop internationally comparable gender indications on factors such as health, entrepreneurship, and asset ownership. She also talked about how data on a core set of assets, such as land assets, can be extremely useful.

Finally, Ms. Nowacka spoke on the OECD’s SIGI-Social Institutions and Gender Index, which was last published in 2014. It has 5 sub-indexes and 21 variables, with 160 countries. She noted how important it is to look specifically for discrimination against women in the law. Finally, she pointed out how whenever women were finally educated on their land rights, they have stood to declare “no, I will not give up my land.”

Meeting: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, UN Women, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Monitoring Women’s Land Rights in the 2030 Agenda

Date/Location: Thursday, March 17, 2016; 13:15-14:30 Conference Room D-GA Building

Speakers: Mrs. Carla Mucavi, Director, FAO Liaison Office New York; Mr. Libor Stloukal, Senior Policy Officer, FAO Headquarters; Ms. Lauren Pandolfelli, UN Statistics Division, UN Women; Ms. Keiko Nowacka, Gender Coordinator, OECD Development Centre

Written By: WIT Representative Olivia Gong

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: Betsy Davis Cosme / UN Women Asia & the Pacific / CC BY-NC-ND

UN organizations address the 13th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The seventh meeting for the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues facilitated a comprehensive dialogue from United Nations organisations on their progress in promoting the rights of indigenous persons with responses from Permanent members of the forum. Interventions from many UN bodies revolved around three major issue areas; the full participation of indigenous persons in their right to self-determination, ‘free, prior and informed consent’ in regards to Indigenous land rights, and the sufficient funding of organisations for long term protection of indigenous rights.

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Denmark, Bolivia, UNDP, IFAD, and the IFC all directly addressed concerns that governments are favoring the demands of the private mining industry and the sustainable development of our natural resources requires the collaborative consultation of indigenous persons. The African Caucus recognized that natural resources are usually extracted from heritage sites with unique and spiritual ties to indigenous traditions and ancestry. Therefore it is of paramount importance that indigenous persons be involved in the decisions directly affecting their sacred land.

UNECSO and FAO demonstrated that indigenous people have a unique understanding of the sustainability and protection of their environments through systems such as pastoral farming, which could enable a more resilient response to climate change for our fragile ecosystems. The IFAD, ILO and permanent member of the forum Joseph Goko Mutangah insisted that the United Nations should be capturing the wealth of agricultural, medicinal and ecological innovations that indigenous traditions encompass.

Representative of the American Indian Alliance and chairperson of the forum Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough, expressed concerns that the United Nations organisations are only authorised to serve indigenous persons from developing countries. Statistics demonstrate that indigenous persons are equally marginalised in both developing and developed nations. They called for a revision of the policy to allow indigenous persons in all countries access to the United Nations’ agencies and funds.

Meeting Title: 7th meeting – Comprehensive dialogue with United Nations agencies and funds
Speakers: Chairperson Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough, Permanent members of the forum Gervais Nzoa, Joan Garling, Kara-Kys Arakchaa, Miriam Wallet Aboubakrine, Miriam Wallet Aboubakrine, Maria Eugenia Choque Quispe, Joseph Goko Mutangah, Raja Devasish Roy
Representatives on behalf of organizations; UNICEF, FAO, ILO, IFAD, UNDP, IFC, UNESCO, World Bank, Ministry of foreign affairs Denmark, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, the African Caucus, Indigenous Parliamentarians, Alliance of Indigenous women of Central America and Mexico, WIPO (New York), Central & Eastern Europe, Russian federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia, Bolivia, and the American Indian Law alliance
Location: United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 15 May 2014
Written by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark