Wiyi Yani U Thangani

Women's Voices

Securing our rights securing our future

 

 

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First Nations gender justice and equality 

A major message throughout every chapter of the Wiyi Yani U Thangani Report is that structural change and systemic reform is needed, on a large-scale, in order to combat and overcome inequalities and intergenerational harms and trauma. Structural change is described below in further detail. For this structural change to be genuine and meaningful, the priorities and aspirations of First Nations women and girls must inform the development of laws, policies and workplace practices and processes. The intention being that systems, which emerge from these structural changes, become reflective and responsive to the holistic and interconnected lives of First Nations women and girls, and their families, communities and all of society.

We are articulating this as the need to embed First Nations gender justice and equality across all policy domains from the government to organisational levels.

First Nations gender justice and equality is the full self-determination and realisation of the rights of First Nations women and girls. It is about ensuring that First Nations women and girls have equal access to the resources which can enable them to determine the institutions and systems—the policies, laws and programs—that govern and shape life.

In this specific context, gender justice and equality centres on the lived experiences and knowledges of First Nations women and girls. Gender justice recognises that it is the experiences and worldviews of First Nations women which are key to combatting, and healing from, injustices and inequalities. Embedded in this, is the knowledge that multiple voices must be embraced to dismantle structures that marginalise First Nations women and girls with the view of reconstructing systems from the ground-up that are inclusive, fair and just.

Crucially, a movement for First Nations gender justice and equality is not about making Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and women the same. Instead, it is ensuring that First Nations women’s identities are recognised and equally valued and respected to all other peoples in society. Fundamentally, to achieve a gender equality which benefits all society, justice must be guaranteed for First Nations women and girls in all areas of life—from education, the economy, health, anti-discrimination and anti-violence work, to service delivery, land management, housing and much more.

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.