Wiyi Yani U Thangani

Women's Voices

Securing our rights securing our future



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First Nations gender justice and equality 

Wiyi Yani U Thangani sets out a vision for achieving First Nations gender justice and equality in Australia. Throughout stage one and two of Wiyi Yani U Thangani, First Nations women and girls have spoken of seeing and believing in a world that upholds our unique cultural, social, economic, and political rights and interests. A world that deeply values, celebrates, and enables all of who we are—our knowledges, identities, ideas, work and aspirations. A world that functions on the understanding that humanity, the lives of all women and men, are embedded and dependent upon earth’s ecosystems. A world which ensures women, men and children are free from intersecting discriminations, inequalities, compounding traumas and violence, and guarantees their self-determination in the decisions that form and shape their existence. Women and girls know this world because it has existed before and continues to unfold within our First Nations ways of knowing, being and doing.

This vision is not a Western mainstream conception of gender equality which predominantly focuses on individual rights and access to resources within the current structures that exist. First Nations gender justice and equality challenges this mainstream worldview, which too often is hierarchical, exclusive, re-entrenches power dynamics and further marginalises First Nations women, and those from diverse, non-Western backgrounds. Instead, it looks to re-design systems through a resurgence in First Nations women’s knowledges and values, so the societal structures that surround us mirror and embrace who we are, to bring into being a more inclusive, caring, compassionate and vibrant world.

Achieving the many dimensions of gender justice—across all aspects of life, including health, housing, education, and the economy—are the processes to realise this vision. Equality is the creation of the conditions and the formation of the laws, policies and institutions, where all women and men and gender diverse peoples are recognised and respected. Equality is not to make all people the same. Rather, it is to embrace and unleash the potential of our differences.

The below diagram describes how First Nations gender justice and equality is an essential piece to all health, social, economic and land justice movements. First Nations gender justice and equality is about centering those who experience heightened marginalisation in terms of gender, race, sexuality and class to truly achieve justice across all areas of life.