Women's Human Rights Resources Database


Your search for the subject "Indigenous Women" found 48 records.

[ Articles Documents Links ]

Click each title for item details
Andrews, Penelope, Violence Against Aboriginal Women in Australia: Possibilities for Redress within The International Human Rights Framework, 60 ALBANY LAW REVIEW, 917-41 (1996-97).

The article consists of an analysis of historical violence against Aboriginal peoples in Australia before narrowing the issue by looking specifically at Aboriginal women. The relationship between Aboriginal women and non-Aboriginal women is explored, highlighting the challenges of addressing Aboriginal women's issues within a white feminist movement. The utility and effectiveness of using non-Aboriginal women's gains and international law to advance Aboriginal women's rights is subsequently reviewed. The author concludes that local efforts must be combined with a global human rights framework in order to adequately protect the rights of Aboriginal women in Australia.

View Article - [HTML Format]
[PDF Format requires pdf reader]

Arbour, Jane M., The Protection of Aboriginal Rights within a Human Rights Regime: In Search of an Analytical Framework for Section 25 of The Charter of Rights and Freedoms , 21 THE SUPREME COURT LAW REVIEW (Second Series), 3-71 (2003)

The intersection between the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Aboriginal rights are discussed in this review of section 25 of the Charter. The author seeks to establish a framework for analysis of potential conflicts between Charter rights and Aboriginal rights. To begin, there is a detailed review of jurisprudence of section 25 of the Charter, its historical roots, and the various means of constitutional interpretation. The article includes a specific discussion of the interactions of section 28 and the provision of equality between men and women and the potential conflict with Aboriginal rights provisions. The article also discusses how international norms address the potential conflicts between group rights and individual rights. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Canada]

Barsh, Russel Lawrence, Indigenous Peoples and the UN Commission on Human Rights: A Case of the Immovable Object and the Irresistible Force, 18(4) HUMAN RIGHTS QUARTERLY, 782-813 (1996).

This article presents an overview of the initial political reading of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the Commission on Human Rights Working Group. Chronicling the nine year process leading to the current Draft Declaration, the author recounts the main obstacles encountered in gathering international support for Indigenous peoples rights. The author suggests the importance of this Working Group's requirement of full participation by Indigenous organizations and recommendation for immediate adoption of the draft document. Also included is an overview of participating states' attitude towards the main components of the draft declaration. Although this article does not focus specifically on Indigenous women, it has particular relevance for many of their core international legal concerns.

Barsh, Russel Lawrence, Indigenous Peoples in The 1990s: From Object to Subject of International Law?, 7 HARVARD HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL, 33-86 (1994).

This comprehensive article explores the main issues arising in the pursuit of international Indigenous rights. The premise of the author is that the development of Indigenous rights in the international arena is contingent on understanding Indigenous peoples as subjects of international law, with rights and duties, rather than simply objects of international law. The first part of the article presents a thorough overview of the main legal and political issues affecting claims of self-determination. The second section suggests that there is a growing acceptance in international law of the collective identity and distinct rights of Indigenous peoples. The final section of the article describes the main challenges remaining for full recognition of Indigenous peoples' legal personality under international law. This article is relevant to the broad establishment of Indigenous women's rights in international law.

Bayefsky, Anne F, The Human Rights Committee and the Case of Sandra Lovelace, 20 THE CANADIAN YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 244-265 (1982)

This article is a detailed review of Sandra Lovelace's application to the United Nations Human Rights Committee which challenged provisions of the Canadian Indian Act as discriminatory against women. Under the Act, Indian women marrying non-Indian men lost their legal status as "Indian", a practice that was found to be discriminatory against women by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC). The case continues to be relevant both in assessing provisions on Indian status and in understanding how the decision of an international body relates to the status of Indigenous women's rights in Canada. The article also reviews the historical debate over the question of Indian status and the disagreements between Native groups and the Canadian government. In conclusion, the author notes the Canadian government's inadequate response to Lovelace's complaint and emphasizes the important political role of the Human Rights Committee on this contentious issue. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Applying Human Rights Law - International, Canada, International]

Bigge, David M., von Briesen, Amelie, Conflict in the Zimbabwean Courts: Women's Rights and Indigenous Self-Determination in Magaya v. Magaya, 13 HARVARD HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL, 289-313 (2000).

This article reviews the case of an Indigenous women in Zimbabwe being denied property rights under judicial interpretations of customary law in Zimbabwe. Part I focuses on the background and substantive decision in the case. Part II reviews the significant reaction from the local and international human rights community. The main argument in the article is that advocacy needs to focus more on the structures of the legal system in Zimbabwe and the existence of a separate legal system rooted in customary law. Part III focuses more specifically upon the conflict between women's rights and indigenous rights to self-determination which arose in this case. This review includes a discussion of the violations of international human rights which occured in this case and the structural barriers in pursing remedies through international mechanisms. The article concludes with suggested changes to the legal system in Zimbabwe so as to better protect both the rights of women and indigenous persons.

Bingham, Brittany, Leo, Diane, Zhang, Ruth, Generational Sex Work and HIV risk among Indigenous Women in a Street-based Urban Canadian Setting, 16(4) CULTURE, HEALTH & SEXUALITY: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR RESEARCH, INTERVENTION AND CARE, 440-452 (2014)

This article aims to address the scarcity of data concerning Aboriginal women and their risk of contracting HIV, and the gap in public policy and research that fails to account for Indigenous women's pathways into sex work. The statistical research presented in the article examines the experiences of Aboriginal women in Vancouver, BC, Canada in regards to generational sex work involvement, and the independent effect this involvement has on the risk of contracting HIV. The results presented in the article, which indicate that HIV prevalence is higher in Aboriginal women and that Aboriginal women are more likely to experience generational sex work involvement, demonstrate the urgent need for policy change and recognition by Indigenous leaders, governments, and HIV prevention and human rights experts of the particular vulnerabilities Aboriginal women face.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Borrows, John, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and Violence against Women, 50 OSGOODE HALL LAW JOURNAL, 699-736 (2012-2013)

In this article, the author argues that one reason violence against aboriginal women in Canada has not received adequate attention is because political discourse within Indigenous communities, influenced by the way Canadian courts frame Indigenous issues, has focused on other matters. The author specifically addresses the jurisprudence on s 35(1) of the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982. Section 35 recognizes and affirms the aboriginal and treaty rights of aboriginal peoples in Canada. The author suggests that s 35(1) jurisprudence has focused on land and resource conflicts at the expense of human rights issues. Thus, the author argues, chiefs and leaders within Indigenous communities have also focused on these issues, inadvertently drawing attention away from issues related to violence against women. As a result of this concern, the author advocates that Indigenous peoples' constitutional rights be re-framed by reinterpreting s 35 to emphasize issues of gender and violence. The author therefore presents s 35 as a potential vehicle for ensuring that all levels of government, including Indigenous governments, are obligated to address violence against women.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Corrin, Jennifer Care, Negotiating the Constitutional Conundrum: Balancing Cultural Identity with Principles of Gender Equality in Post-Colonial South Pacific Societies, 5 INDIGENOUS LAW JOURNAL, 51-81 (2006).

This article explores the conflict between Indigenous customary law in the island states of the southwest Pacific and constitutionally enshrined human rights banning gender discrimination. The author argues that while some Pacific island states have ratified or acceded to written frameworks for the protection of gender equality rights through documents such as CEDAW, in practice, South Pacific nations have not upheld their obligations. The author discusses the status of women in South Pacific nations, illustrating the generally patriarchal customary norms in traditional societies. The author uses case law to demonstrate the difficulties women face in South Pacific customary and formal legal systems. The article concludes with suggestions for addressing the gender power imbalance in the court system.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Cummings, Barbara, Blokland, Jenny, La Forgia, Rebecca, Lessons for the Stolen Generations Litigation, 19 ADELAIDE LAW REVIEW, 25-44 (1997).

The Northern Territory Stolen Generations litigation involved two cases in Australia challenging the validity of the Aboriginal Ordinance 1918 (Cth), which authorized the confinement within or removal to reserves and aboriginal institutions of aboriginal peoples. This article examines the litigation in the context of crimes of genocide and issues of sovereignty. The authors emphasize the need to document women's history and questions the role of human rights institutions and procedures in this regard. This article also reviews the question of reparations.

View Article - [HTML Format]
[PDF Format requires pdf reader]

Cunneen, Chris, Preventing Violence against Indigenous Women through Programs Which Target Men, 25 UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES LAW JOURNAL, 242-250 (2002).

This article discusses programs targeting Indigenous men in the prevention of violence against women, families, and communities within Western Australia. The information presented may be applicable to other Western states such as Canada and the United States. The article discusses crime-prevention programs that target Indigenous men through the right of Indigenous self-determination. The author stresses the importance of implementing Indigenous modes of control and expression through programs that are run by community organizations or are court-mandated for prisoners. The author concludes that in order for these programs to be successful, they must approach crime prevention holistically, involve community Elders, be guided by principle of self-determination, and be comprised of culturally appropriate staff and content.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Currie, Iain, The Future of Customary Law: Lessons from the Lobolo Debate, 10 ACTA JURIDICA, 146-68 (1994).

This article presents an overview of the development of 'customary law' in formerly colonized states and argues that such law is not truly reflective of Indigenous law. The author particularly focuses on the implications of this manipulation of Indigenous laws for Indigenous women. The article also looks at the interaction of customary, indigenous and international law protecting women's rights and suggests that the terms of the Convention on the Elimination All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) are irreconcilable with customary law in South Africa. The focus of this article is on Lobolo, or the custom of bridewealth. The author's conclusion is that the tradition of Lobolo itself is not discriminatory to women, but it has become a discriminatory practice through the imposition of colonial structures.

Davis, Megan, Aboriginal Women: The Right to Self-Determination, 6 AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS LAW REVIEW, 78-88 (2012).

This article discusses the relationships between international human rights, the state, and indigenous communities. The author considers how the formulation of these relationships affects Indigenous women. She argues that Indigenous rights as implemented by the state and adopted in communities may promote an impoverished form of self- determination. This result impedes the capacity of Indigenous women and girls to determine their political status and control their social and cultural identity. This occurs through a translation of self- determination by the state that undermines gender equality. A reimagining of self- determination in light of the specific contexts of women's lives may more effectively provide self-determination for Indigenous women.

Fiske, Jo-anne, Political Status of Native Indian Women: Contradictory Implications of Canadian State Policy, 19(2) AMERICAN INDIAN CULTURE AND RESEARCH JOURNAL 1-30 (1995).

The fundamental issue considered within this article is the intersection of women's rights with self-determination and the impact of Canadian legislation upon the empowerment of Indigenous women. The article undertakes a systematic analysis of state policy relating to gender relationships. There is a historical review of relevant Canadian legislation, primarily focused on the Indian Act and its impact upon Indigenous women's rights. The article also reviews the social consequences of Bill C-31 for Indigenous women. In conclusion, the article notes that many of these issues stem from the debate and conflict over Indigenous self-determination in Canada and advocates a recognition that self-determination does not constitute automatic protection of women's rights.

View Article - [PDF Format requires pdf reader]
[PDF Format requires pdf reader]

Freeman, Marsha A, Women, Law, and Land at the Local Level: Claiming Women's Human Rights in Domestic Legal Systems, 16 HUMAN RIGHTS QUARTERLY, 559-75 (1994).

This article begins with a review of the value of using law and legal systems to improve women's status. The second section examines issues involved in developing the human rights construct in domestic legal systems. These issues include establishing the principle of nondiscrimination, using nationally based definitions of human rights, invoking constitutional human rights norms, and referring to international instruments and legal developments in other countries. In the final section of the paper, the author presents three strategies for using human rights norms in national legal systems: using the courts, addressing other branches of government, and developing the women's rights construct through applied research. In elaborating on these strategies, the author gives examples from African countries, including cases from Botswana, Tanzania, and Kenya, law reform examples from Zimbabwe. Several of these examples deal with African Indigenous women accessing their rights.

Grey, Sam, First-Class Crimes, Second-Class Justice: Cumulative Charges for Gender-Based Crimes at the International Criminal Court, 11 INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW, 529-541 (2011)

The author argues for the reconciliation of Indigenous women's rights based advocacy (which primarily aims to heal gender injustice) and Indigenous nations rights-based advocacy (which primarily aims to protect cultural distinction) through an Indigenous 'self-determination' project grounded in human rights. This project would consider women's concerns and cultural flourishing to be coequal priorities. The author argues that the reconciliation of these disparate goals requires a political shift toward critical engagement with historical and contemporary colonialism and a willingness to confront Indigenous societies' internalization of patriarchy and sexism. However, the author points out that such reconciliation is complicated by the fact that Indigenous nations attitudes toward womens rights reflect those of Settler states toward Indigenous rights.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Isaac, Thomas, Maloughney, Mary Sue, Dually Disadvantaged and Historically Forgotten?: Aboriginal Women and the Inherent Right of Aboriginal Self-Government, 21 MANITOBA LAW JOURNAL, 453-475 (1992)

This article examines the assertion that Aboriginal self-government could limit the individual rights of Aboriginal women in Canada. The authors argue that these concerns are legitimate given the historical discrimination experienced by Aboriginal women. The article begins with a historical perspective and moves to examine the potential impact of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms upon Aboriginal women's rights. The article concludes that the rights of individual Aboriginal women need to be recognized and protected within any developments concerning Aboriginal self-government. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Canada]

Johnson, Andrea L., , A Perfect Storm: The U.S. Anti-Trafficking Regimes Failure to Stop the Sex Trafficking of American Indian Women and Girls, 43 COLUMBIA HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW, 617-710 (2012)

This article examines the lack of attention to trafficking of American women within US borders. Although sex trafficking affects women from all backgrounds and segments of society, Native women have experienced sexual violence and exploitation at a rate higher than any other ethnic group. Factors that make women vulnerable to trafficking, such as poverty, homelessness, sexual abuse, substance abuse and gang membership, are present in disproportionate rates in American Native communities. The author argues that the USs modern anti-trafficking efforts have failed to address and prevent the sexual, legal and social exploitation of American Native women. The author proposes that the definition of sex trafficking be more inclusive of domestic victims, that the focus be shifted from the consent of the woman to the actions of the exploiter, and that there should be increased funding for domestic and Native victim services.

Andrea L Johnson, A Perfect Storm: The U.S. Anti-Trafficking Regimes Failure to Stop the Sex Trafficking of American Indian Women and Girls (2012) 43:2 Colum HRL Rev 617.

View Article - [PDF Format requires pdf reader]

Johnston, Kerensa, Everything in Context: Indigenous Women, International Human Rights Law and Discrimination - Is International Human Rights Law the Way Forward?, 7 INDIGENOUS LAW BULLETIN, 17-19 (2007).

This paper discusses the multiple ways in which Indigenous women experience discrimination. In the public sphere, this may occur through practices and policies that discriminate against and undermine the values of Indigenous women. In the private sphere, indigenous women face potentially life- threatening discrimination. The author considers possible solutions to these forms of discrimination. Specifically, the paper contemplates CEDAW and the Optional Protocol as possible means for Indigenous women to address rights violations and engages in an examination of international case law. In the alternative, the author contemplates the value of addressing discrimination within the community and posits that potential solutions may come from a process that includes men and the larger community.

View Article - [HTML Format]

Johnston, Kerensa, Maori Women Confront Discrimination: Using International Human Rights Law to Challenge Discriminatory Practices, 4 INDIGENOUS LAW JOURNAL, 19-69 (2005).

This article discusses internal and external discrimination faced by Maori women in New Zealand and processes in international law available to those who wish to challenge discriminatory laws and practices. A concise explanation of the pre-colonial and post- colonial interpersonal relationship of Maori women precedes the author's discussion of legal remedies to discriminatory practices, which focus on the Optional Protocol procedure and the Women's Committee in the context of the Mana Wahine Claim. The author concludes that it may be appropriate for Maori women to use international law processes to obtain an effective remedy against external discrimination. The article cautions, however, that international law processes are inappropriate to remedy internal discrimination. Internal discrimination is better remedied through complex processes involving a re-examination of Maori principles and practices from Maori women's perspectives.

View Article - [PDF Format requires pdf reader]
[OTHER Format]

Jordan, Elizabeth, Residual Sex Discrimination in the Indian Act: Constitutional Remedies, 11 JOURNAL OF LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY, 213-240 (1995)

This article examines residual sex discrimination in the Canadian Indian Act after the implementation of Bill C-31 to amend the Act. The author examines the continuation of Indian status between generations and how Indigenous women continue to be disadvantaged by these rules. The article begins with a review of challenges to the Indian Act before the enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The author then moves to discuss the conflict between individual and collective rights which arises in these debates of Indigenous rights. The second part of the article examines the potential constitutional remedies should these specific elements of the Indian Act be found in violation of the Charter. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Canada]

Kastrup, José Paulo, The Internationalization of Indigenous Rights from the Environmental and Human Rights Perspective, 32 TEXAS INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL, 97-122 (1997).

By focusing on the conflicts between Indigenous rights and environmental protection, the author chronicles the extent and scope of conceptions of Indigenous rights within the international community. The article begins with an overview of the international community's definition of Indigenous peoples. The paper then narrows its focus to consider the position of Indigenous peoples in North America, chronicling the history of racism that has led to the current marginalized situation of Indigenous peoples. The development of environmental and Indigenous rights law is indicative of a trend towards the international community requiring action from local governments. Although not specifically focusing on Indigenous women, the discussion in this article is still generally relevant for this topic.

View Article - [HTML Format]
[PDF Format requires pdf reader]

Kingsbury, Benedict, "Indigenous Peoples" in International Law: A Constructivist Approach to the Asian Controversy, 92 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 414-57 (1998).

The focus of this article is on the legal designation of Indigenous peoples, and the rights that this designation invokes. This definitional debate is considered within the context of groups in Asia who are denied recognition by the state and are seeking designation as Indigenous peoples. The article presents an overview of the international definitions of Indigenous peoples, as well as the ways in which various Indigenous peoples have defined themselves. In understanding these varying definitions, the history of colonialism is presented as well as the resulting attitudes towards Indigenous peoples in states dominated by European settlers. A detailed analysis of this history is reviewed for the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Bangladesh. Also presented is an overview of the international norms that have arisen in relation to Indigenous peoples, as well as the international institutions that impact upon First Nations peoples. This discussion holds particular relevance for Indigenous women in Asia.

Koshan, Jennifer, Aboriginal Women, Justice and the Charter: Bridging the Divide?, 32(1) UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW, 23-54 (1998)

This article focuses on the issue of victims' rights and addresses the extent to which the rights of Aboriginal women are protected when they are victims of violence. The article begins with a review of traditional Aboriginal systems of justice that addressed male violence against women and draws comparisons to the current practices in the Canadian judicial system. The article then moves to focus on the potential for the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect victims' rights and reviews the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Canada on this issue. The author concludes that the equality provisions of the Charter would potentially not be necessary within an Aboriginal system of justice which offered greater protection to the rights of victims. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Canada]

Krosenbrink-Gelissen, Lilianne E., The Canadian Constitution, the Charter, and Aboriginal Women's Rights: Conflicts and Dilemmas, 7-8 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CANADIAN STUDIES, 207-223 (1993)

This article reviews the scope of the challenges which the Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms raise for Aboriginal women in Canada. There is a particular focus in this article on the advocacy work of the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC). The article begins by discussing the issue of sex equality under the Aboriginal rights found within the Constitution. Following this discussion is an overview of the challenges raised by Aboriginal women with the constitutional review process. In conclusion, the author notes that importance of allowing NWAC's full participation in political discussions. As well, the author asserts the need to constitutionally entrench sex equality rights in any consideration of self-government. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Canada]

Kuokkanen, Rauna, Self-Determination and Indigenous Womens Rights at the Intersection of International Human Rights, 34(1) HUMAN RIGHTS QUARTERLY, 225-250 (2012).

This article examines the correlation between self-determination of indigenous peoples and indigenous womens rights. In particular, the article focuses on the current failure to prevent violence against women and argues that the justice system and other institutions are ineffective in this endeavour. Noting the importance of the international human rights framework in addressing violence against women, the article argues that human rights law relating to self-determination should be conceived as a collective human right rather than a right of sovereign states. The article argues for a distinction between targeted forms of violence used against indigenous women and the gendered effects of violence against indigenous communities as a whole. Ultimately, the article contends that indigenous self-determination is not possible without first addressing violations of womens human rights.

Rauna Kuokkanen, "Self-Determination and Indigenous Womens Rights at the Intersection of International Human Rights" (2012) 34:1 Hum Rts Q 225.

View Article - [HTML Format]

Kuokkanen, Rauna, Indigenous Women's Rights and International Law: Challenges of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, (Accepted Paper Series 03-25, 2014)

This article explores the inadequacy of international human rights discourse to effectively engage with the rights of indigenous women. It refers to two documents that confer rights on indigenous womenthe United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) (2007); and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (1979)and argues that, despite these internationally recognized documents, indigenous women's rights continue to be given inadequate attention at both international and local levels. Through an analysis of indigenous womens rights in international law and the work of the United Nations' Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and with reference to feminist critiques of human rights law, the article suggests that indigenous human rights discourse in fact perpetuates exclusions of and power imbalances toward indigenous women. Finally, the article puts forward the Zapatista Women's Revolutionary Law as an example of effective indigenous womens rights developed by grassroots indigenous women.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Mann, Michelle M., International Teen Reproductive Health and Development: The Canadian First Nations Context, 4(1) THE INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS POLICY JOURNAL (2013)

Mann addresses the unique barriers faced by indigenous youth in accessing reproductive health services and support, as well as the added risks associated with teenage pregnancies. This article begins by drawing attention to different reproductive health issues faced by teenagers globally, highlighting particular challenges faced by indigenous youth caused by discrimination, their vulnerable position in society, and their geographic location. She reports that long wait times, transportation costs, cultural discrimination and a limited number of doctors and nurses create barriers for indigenous youth accessing health care services in Canada. She outlines international developments, such as the Cairo Programme of Action and the Millennium Development Goals, and their importance for teenage reproductive health. Successful programs focused on improving indigenous teenage reproductive health implemented by Australia, Bolivia and Guatemala are also analyzed. Finally, Mann uses international principles on reproductive health and development to inform her discussion of teenage reproductive health in the Canadian First Nations context. She argues for a holistic, culturally sensitive approach to improve access to health including education, improvement of socio-economic status and participation of indigenous groups in creating these strategies.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Manuh, Takyiwaah, The Women, Law and Development Movement in Africa and the Struggle For Customary Law Reform, 8 THIRD WORLD LEGAL STUDIES, 207-24 (1994-95).

The primary purpose of this article is to present an overview of the experiences of Indigenous women with customary law. The existence of legal pluralism in colonized states impacts upon Indigenous women, especially in the African context. After examining the development of customary law, the author reports on how African women are using this customary law to access their rights. The article also recounts the struggle for legal reform that is occurring in several African states.

McGill, Eugenia, 'An Institutional Suicide Machine': Discrimination Against Federally Sentenced Aboriginal Women by the Correctional Service of Canada in Violation of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 2(1) RACE/ETHNICITY: MULTIDISCIPLINARY GLOBAL CONTEXTS, 89-119 (2008).

This paper discusses the treatment of Aboriginal women in the Correctional Services of Canada (CSC) within an international human rights context. The author posits that the discriminatory treatment of Aboriginal women in Canadian federal prisons amounts to a breach of CEDAW. The paper investigates the sexist and racist treatment of Aboriginal women in this context, drawing on research and factual reports. The author argues that the Canadian government ignores these rights violations despite numerous studies and inquiries. The author addresses the possibility of raising this issue to the international stage through use of CEDAW. In employing CEDAW, the author cautions that equality rights cannot be understood as wholly divorced from other forms of discrimination, including sexual orientation, disability, and class.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

McIvor, Sharon Donna, Aboriginal Women's Rights as Existing Rights , 15 CANADIAN WOMAN STUDIES, 34-38 (1995)

This article focuses on the civil and political rights of Aboriginal women and argues that these rights exist under section 35 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that they have never been extinguished. The author uses Supreme Court jurisprudence to support the argument that the contemporary civil and political rights of Aboriginal women were affirmed with the passage of the Charter. The author also briefly discusses the extent to which international law demonstrates the existence of Aboriginal women's rights. In conclusion, the author states that the scope of these civil and political rights will be determined primarily by the development of the self-determination of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Canada]

McIvor, Sharon Donna, Aboriginal Women Unmasked: Using Equality Litigation to Advance Women's Rights, 16 CANADIAN JOURNAL OF WOMEN AND THE LAW, 106-136 (2004)

This article is a review of the legal challenges over Aboriginal women's rights brought under the Canadian Bill of Rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international human rights law. The author argues that although success has been limited in these litigation claims, the cases are still an essential element of the effort to enforce Aboriginal women's rights in Canada. The article examines specific cases concerning the loss of Indian status, matrimonial property, and rights to participate in decision-making. The author emphasizes the importance of protecting economic and social rights as well as civil and political rights and draws connections between the denial of rights and the poverty experienced by many Aboriginal women. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Canada]

McKay, Celeste, International Human Rights Standards and Instruments Relevant to Indigenous Women, 26 CANADIAN WOMAN STUDIES, 147-152 (2008).

This article addresses the marginalization and discrimination faced by Indigenous women worldwide. The author argues that the human rights of Indigenous women, including the right to live free from violence, the right to self-determination, and the right to own property, are frequently violated in Canada and abroad. The piece addresses these issues within a human rights framework and considers the treatment of human rights under various international conventions. The author outlines key international instruments and concludes that to successfully combat human rights violations faced by Aboriginal women today, advocates must address problems on a local, national, and international level.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Monture-Okanee, Patricia A., The Roles and Responsibilities of Aboriginal Women: Reclaiming Justice, 56(1) SASKATCHEWAN LAW REVIEW, 237-266 (1992)

This article is a theoretical examination of Aboriginal women's relationship with the Canadian legal system. The focus is on the barriers experienced by women in accessing the male constructed legal system. The article includes a specific focus on issues of language and the disparities experienced by Aboriginals within criminal law. The article concludes with an examination of the place of Aboriginal women within the feminist legal paradigm. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Canada]

Moss, Wendy, Indigenous Self-government in Canada and Sexual Equality Under the Indian Act: Resolving Conflicts Between Collective and Individual Rights, 15 QUEEN'S LAW JOURNAL, 279-305 (1990)

This article addresses the extent to which equality of group membership under the Canadian Indian Act has been characterized as a conflict between collective Indigenous rights and the individual human rights of Indigenous women. The article begins with an examination of the historical background of discrimination of Indigenous women within federal legislation. In examining these human rights concerns, the article argues that the issue of Indian status is fundamentally a question of self-determination both for individuals and Indigenous groups. In conclusion, the author points to the necessity of seeking a means to discuss human rights in a manner consistent with Indigenous values. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Canada]

Nightengale, Margo L., Judicial Attitudes and Differential Treatment: Native Women in Sexual Assault Cases, 23(1) OTTAWA LAW REVIEW, 71-98 (1991)

This article examines Aboriginal women's interactions with the Canadian justice system and specifically addresses the issue of judicial bias. The focus of the article is the differential treatment of Aboriginal women as complainants of sexual assault. The author reviews sentencing decisions in several cases to assess the discriminatory treatment towards Aboriginals. In conclusion, the author emphasizes the importance of sensitivity towards Aboriginal communities and values as well as the need to hear from Aboriginal women regarding their own experiences in these cases. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Canada]

Polavarapu, Aparna, Reconciling Indigenous and Women's Rights to Land in Sub-Saharan Africa, 42 GEORGIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW, 93-131 (2013)

This article examines the tension between state support of customary systems of land tenure and women's rights in Sub-Saharan Africa. The author explores the interaction between the separate frameworks for international protection of indigenous rights and women's rights. Polavarapu recognizes that the needs of women and indigenous communities need to be balanced as many hybrid systems of customary and statutory law have failed women in the region. The author advocates for a new transformative approach that would require more women to sit on councils in indigenous communities, to institute norms of equality, and for state representatives to be involved in land negotiation. This would leave systems of customary law largely intact, but would create accountability at the state level for any potential denial of women's rights.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Quane, Helen, , A Further Dimension to the Interdependence and Indivisibility of Human Rights?: Recent Developments Concerning the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 25 HARVARD HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL, 49-83 (2012)

This article analyzes international indigenous rights law through the lens of the UN Human Rights Treaty Monitoring System and the UN Charter-Based System. The article highlights the conflict between framing indigenous peoples as both a minority and a people, and argues that this conflict and the diversity of treaties relating to indigenous peoples rights have blurred the contents of the rights to self-determination, respect for identity, and effective participation. The article examines the evolution of indigenous peoples rights in regards to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and determines that there has been an erosion of divisions between large ranges of rights, which are clearly separated in the traditional system of international human rights protection. The article concludes by recommending that indigenous groups be concurrently classified as both a people and a minority, and notes the risks to people and states inherent in a lack of recognition for the interdependence and indivisibility of human rights.

Helen Quane, A Further Dimension to the Interdependence and Indivisibility of Human Rights?: Recent Developments Concerning the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2012) 25 Harv Hum Rts J 49.

View Article - [PDF Format requires pdf reader]

Richards, Patricia, The Politics of Gender, Human Rights, and Being Indigenous in Chile, 19 GENDER AND SOCIETY, 199-220 (2005).

This article examines gender politics and human rights as they relate to Indigenous women. It considers whether a conception of rights centered on the individual can truly promote the collective rights of indigenous peoples. Additionally, the author discusses the limitations of gender norms in understanding the reality of indigenous women in many contexts. She explores how the identification of Mapuche women in Chile mediates gender and human rights and considers the multiple identifications of Indigenous women. The article discusses the various means through which Mapuche women identify with the Mapuche community as whole, and differ from non-Mapuche Chilean women.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Roht-Arriaza, Naomi, Of Seeds and Shamans: the Appropriation of the Scientific and Technical Knowledge of Indigenous and Local Communities, 17 MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 919-65 (1996).

This article deals with an issue of special relevance to Indigenous women: the appropriation of the scientific and technical knowledge of Indigenous peoples. The purpose of the article is to present an overview of this problem and to suggest recourse by which Indigenous peoples, and largely Indigenous women, can claim the right to control access to their knowledge and resources. This article reviews the main problems Indigenous peoples face in securing their rights and presents international and domestic legal remedies. Appropriation of the genetic characteristics of the people themselves is also explored through a critique of projects such as the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Sillet, Mary, Ensuring Indigenous Women's Voices Are Heard: The Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women, 16(3) CANADIAN WOMAN STUDIES 62-64 (1996).

This brief article addresses the process of the NGO Forum on Women in 1995, the purpose of which was to lobby the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women to define agendas for the future of women internationally. The author discusses particular issues affecting Inuit peoples in Canada and the methods by which she and others communicated their concerns regarding these issues at the Forum. The author outlines major issues of concern for Indigenous peoples around the world determined by the Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women: self-determination, land and territories, health, education, human rights violations, violence against women, intellectual property rights, biodiversity, the Human Genome Biodiversity project, and political participation.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Tsosie, Rebecca, Indigenous Women and International Human Rights Law: The Challenges of Colonialism, Cultural Survival and Self Determination, 15 UCLA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS, 187-236 (2010).

This paper considers the relationship between feminist norms embodied in international human rights law and the right to self-determination of Indigenous peoples. The author questions whether realizing the right to self- determination of Indigenous groups will promote the ability of these groups to violate the rights of vulnerable group members. In doing so, she contemplates the interaction between the rights affirmed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and women, as a vulnerable group. The article grounds the discussion in the paramount value of equality in international human rights.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Turpel, Aki-Kwe/Mary Ellen , Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Contradictions and Challenges, 10 CANADIAN WOMAN STUDIES, 149-157 (1989)

This article discusses the legitimacy of using human rights discourse in an Aboriginal context. The author begins by examining differences between Aboriginal and Western cultures in reference to the notion of individual human rights within a collective society. The article also reviews some Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms jurisprudence regarding Aboriginal rights and demonstrates how these cases focus on the notion of individual rights. The issue of gender-based discrimination is also examined within the author's discussion of the appropriateness of the international human rights framework. In conclusion, the author recommends recognizing Aboriginal societies as distinct so as to more appropriately apply the human rights framework to their situation. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Canada]

Valencia-Weber, Gloria, Zuni, Catherine P, Domestic Violence and Tribal Protection of Indigenous Women in the United States, 69 St. JOHN'S LAW REVIEW, 69-170 (1995).

This article reviews the issue of physical abuse of Indigenous women and begins with an examination of the sovereign nature of the tribal nations within the parameters of both international law and U.S. jurisprudence. It also addresses the way in which some international instruments relate to the rights and protection of Indigenous people, including specific provisions for protecting women. Furthermore, this article provides an overview of the American Indians' shared world view, revealing values in sharp contrast to those of the majority of American society. Finally, the article demonstrates how some tribes seek to protect their female members through codes, customary law and intervention programs which provide services to victims, abusers and their families.

View Article - [HTML Format]
[PDF Format requires pdf reader]

Watson, Irene, Human Rights Law and Indigenous Women, 1 FEMINISTS @ LAW 1 (2001).

In this short piece, the author reflects on the experience of being an Aboriginal Australian woman. In considering this experience, she questions how an individual's humanity is defined. Moreover, she questions whether that identity is defined by the individual, the community to which he or she belongs, or other communities. The author argues that human rights provide the power to define what it is to be human. Human rights posit that no individual should be subject to unlawful discrimination. The experience and enjoyment of rights can be measured by proximity to power and privilege, and Aboriginal women suffer from a historical disadvantage in this regard resulting from colonialism. This disadvantage is perpetuated as a result of compounded discrimination on the grounds of sex and race.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Wing, Adrien Katherine, A Critical Race Feminist Conceptualization of Violence: South African And Palestinian Women, 60 ALBANY LAW REVIEW, 943-76 (1997).

This article seeks to conceptualize violence against women under both international and foreign domestic law from the perspective of critical race feminism. By rejecting the 'outside/inside' dichotomy of international law and placing women of colour at the centre of the analysis the author articulates the interaction of international and domestic laws in the struggle to improve the lives of black women in South Africa and the Middle East. The author illustrates how both groups of women have faced violence within the family, society and the state and argues that if the private/ public distinction is maintained in domestic laws, women will continue to remain largely unprotected from violence by non-state actors. Suggested solutions include implementation of international declarations, constitutional provisions and education.

Wing, Adrien Katherine, Custom, Religion, and Rights: The Future Legal Status of Palestinian Women, 35(1) HARVARD INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL, 149-200 (1994).

This article looks at the specific issues Indigenous Palestinian women are faced with as a consequence of the Intifada, especially concerning custom, religion and human rights. The author presents an overview of the problems inherent in legal reform in an area with a complexity of religious and customary heritages. This historic perspective serves as a backdrop for a discussion on legal reform effecting Palestinian women. Three options for reform are reviewed: a reinterpretation of Islam, adoption of European style civil codes and building upon the changes resulting from the Intifada. The author suggests that the ultimate goal of any method of reform must be compliance with international human rights norms and conventions and that legal change can only be achieved if other societal changes also occur.

Zardo, Maria Noel Leoni, Gender Equality and Indigenous Peoples' Right to Self-Determination and Culture, 28 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW, 1053-1088 (2013).

This paper addresses gender inequalities within Indigenous communities. The author posits that the rights of Indigenous peoples should be considered with attention to the rights of women. Moreover, human rights entail a minimum level of respect to every human being. Gender equality should be addressed with the same strength within indigenous communities as within the international community. The author proposes an alternative means of interpreting the collective rights of indigenous peoples so as to protect collective rights and gender equality. This argument avoids the conclusion that individual rights of women trump the collective rights of Indigenous peoples.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Credits and History Privacy  Bora Laskin Law Library  U of T Faculty of Law