23 January, 2020

Indigenous women from the Mekong region take stock of their situation

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By: Maribeth V. Bugtong-Biano



Baguio City, Philippines- Seventeen indigenous women from four countries met for the Mekong Subregional Consultation Workshop on April 24-26, 2018 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to share information on the situation of indigenous women and girls in their communities as well as to provide updates on the status of initiatives for them and their communities.

The women came up with a work plan to gather and analyse their data towards consolidation of stories and voices of indigenous women from the region. Themes of their research vary across discrimination and violence against indigenous women, citizenship, impacts of conservation projects to indigenous women and their communities, women empowerment, and capacity building of women including behavioural change.

The research activity sought to emphasize lessons learned and success stories of indigenous women in their struggles for recognition and self-determination. The output from their research would input into the fourth conference of the Asian Indigenous Women’s Network (AIWN) on September 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand as well as into advocacy spaces in their own communities and in other political structures.



The consultation workshop is part of the project Strengthening the AIWN, Mobilizing Change to develop a situationer of indigenous women in Asia that highlights their contributions and strategies for their own empowerment as they engage in various arena. A similar activity is held in Kathmandu, Nepal on 26-28 July that saw representatives of indigenous women’s organizations in India, Nepal and Bangladesh share findings from their research activities and identify actions to fill data gaps as well as to strategize how they can use the data to embolden their advocacy works from the local to international spaces.

Supported by AYNI (Indigenous Women’s Fund), the project also aims to convene a number of Asian indigenous women to develop strategic action plans to strengthen AIWN and link local and national initiatives of indigenous women to global development platforms. Hence, the subregional activities provide chances for indigenous women organizations to plan their participation and representation in the said conference.