The special rapporteur of the United Nations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,the Philippine Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, today encouraged in Quito the groups of women of ancestral peoples in Ecuador to influence the defense of their groups and to lead the changes.
Indigenous women “have to empower themselves to make the changes themselves”, aspart of the demands of the entire group of ancestral peoples and nationalities,added Tauli-Corpuz during an academic meeting at the headquarters of the AndeanUniversity “Simón Bolívar”.
The forum, called “The rights of indigenous women” in the framework of the visit of the rapporteur, also had the participation of the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, José Valencia, and important indigenous leaders such as Blanca Chancoso.
The UN representative also referred to the triple condition of discrimination suffered by indigenous women, due to their gender, ethnicity and poverty, although she insisted that their problems have to be addressed within the framework of collective rights of the peoples and nationalities.
“We can also observe that there are intergenerational problems” because of colonization, added the rapporteur, but stressed that “it is not easy todeal exclusively with the problems of the rights of indigenous women.”
Sheacknowledged that “there is a lack of cultural sensitivity” thataffects the female group, such as the case of access to maternal health.
In addition, she said that the concept of interculturality must be given a radical importance, in order to understand the indigenous nationalities.
She gave the example of Mayan women, many of whom do not go to the hospital to give birth, since nurses and medical staff wear white, a color that symbolizes deat hin that culture.
For this reason, she insisted on calling indigenous women to “influence the collective changes” of their movement, in a framework of interculturality.
On her side, the Ecuadorian chancellor acknowledged the abuse suffered by the right sof indigenous peoples, especially, she said, during the government of former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017).
She also highlighted the progress to guarantee the rights of this minority that has made the current president of the country, Lenin Moreno, but stressed that”there is much to do ahead.”
She agreed that the individual rights of indigenous women should be understood within the framework of the collective rights of the indigenous movement.
She accepted that there are rights violated in these nationalities, fourteen in Ecuador, and said that against that “the State has a great responsibility”.
Situations such as family, labor or discrimination, continue to be serious problems in Ecuador as opposed to guaranteeing the rights of indigenous women, said Valencia.
The Ecuadorian indigenous movement has broad demands that demand a broad discussion, added the head of Ecuadorian diplomacy, who suggested the beginning of a national debate in three areas of discussion: within society, in the State and in the indigenous communities themselves.
Duringher visit to Ecuador, which will last until the next day 29, Rapporteur Tauli-Corpuz plans to hold meetings with indigenous leaders and organizations to verify compliance in the country with international constitutional and regulatory rights. (I)