"Of all the world’s women, Indigenous women and girls are exposed to diverse forms of physical, psychological and sexual violence greater than any other ethnic group in the country. One in three indigenous women and girls will be raped in their lifetime. This pressing reality, was detailed in a concept note by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, laid the foundation for the three-day international expert group meeting on “Combating violence against indigenous women and girls: article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” sets an important standard in the treatment of Indigenous rights. It was the first meeting ever addressing sexual violence against indigenous women and girls.
The history of violence has been long. Many ethnographic accounts from the seventeen and eighteenth centuries reveal that Native American social structures were matriarchal: children belonged to the mother’s clan, women spoke at council meetings and women had the right to vote. Indian societies empowered women and revered them for their life giving force."
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Julianne Jennings: International Women’s Day: Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls
(Indian Country Today 3/8)
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