Indigenous Women Play A Vital Role In The Preservation And Transmission Of Traditional Knowledge


The preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge is the theme of this year’s commemoration of the World Indigenous people. It is an opportunity to celebrate indigenous women’s rich knowledge about the natural world, health, technologies, distinct rites and rituals, and other significant cultural expressions. Generation after generation, women pass on this traditional knowledge, which is a precious inheritance.

Despite strong international commitments to the preservation and protection of traditional knowledge, practices and creativity, there is continued exploitation of indigenous peoples and their resources. In some countries, those resources, including sacred objects, are threatened, used, or patented for commercial purposes without permission.

Protection of traditional knowledge can be especially challenging. This is the case when it concerns indigenous women’s roles to produce, safeguard, and maintain fragile resources, such as their languages. Indigenous women’s voices therefore need to be heard more clearly in the development of policies on cultural heritage and cultural expression.

Measures to be taken should include the establishment of specific legal regimes to ensure that indigenous women are able to benefit from their own knowledge, prevent its unlawful use by others, and have it rightfully recognized internationally. An environment that encourages individuals and social groups, especially indigenous women, to create, produce, disseminate, distribute, and have access to their own cultural expressions should be created. Indigenous women should meaningfully participate in decision-making on how their heritage is used, maintained, and managed.

UN Women recognizes the potential of the traditional knowledge held by indigenous women to eradicate poverty, enhance sustainable development, food security and biodiversity. We are committed to work with indigenous women from around the world to ensure that their rights, voices, and experiences are protected and amplified, and to promote their contributions to the advancement of the 2030 Agends

Source: UN Women