Lourdes Inga, IFIP interim ED, speaking in the opening of the event. Photo: Luminita Cuna

FIMI and IFIP Call on Building Alliances to Combat Violence Against Indigenous Women.

By Nadia Fenly and Lourdes Inga
The International Forum of Indigenous Women (FIMI) and the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP) organized a side event “Building alliances to combat violence against Indigenous women: an open dialogue among strategic allies” in the framework of the 16th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
dsc_2332It was important to recognize the advances gained to combat violence against Indigenous women such as the empowerment of Indigenous women as actors and agents of change to combat violence at the community level.  The involvement of community authorities in the transformation processes and community initiatives has also been important.  Moreover, the participation and impact of women in the political arena has allowed the systematic inclusion of this issue in the recommendations made by the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
However, there is a tremendous need for continued support on addressing violence against Indigenous women.  For funders, it is important to understand the collective vision of women and Indigenous peoples to address violence against Indigenous women, while ensuring individual rights. Supporting Indigenous women from their own worldview which understands the dimensions of violence within and outside their communities is critical.  This entails the need to recognize and support community project initiatives developed by Indigenous women themselves. This vision would help allocate technical and financial resources for the economic empowerment of Indigenous women as a fundamental tool in combating violence in all its manifestations and to strengthen the well-being of women survivors of violence.
FIMI and IFIP call on their allies, from their different personal and institutional roles, to take into account the intersectionality of violence in the life of Indigenous women in order to achieve true social change.  We also call on increased support from the donor community to address the many forms of violence faced by Indigenous women.
Nadia Fenly is Responsible for Indigenous Women’s Watch Against Violence at International Indigenous Women’s Forum (IIWF/FIMI)
Lourdes Inga is Interim Executive Director at International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP)