In February of 2012, the National Organization for Women (NOW) requested urgent funds to support the travel of 6 members of their Native American women task force to attend the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and draw international attention to the increase in rights violations against indigenous women. UAF advisors noted the importance of presenting a parallel event panel on issues they are facing such as theft of indigenous women’s intellectual property, violence against indigenous women, and environmental destruction of Indian lands by mining corporations. The current situation of North America’s Native communities requires international attention as domestic and sexual violence continues to threaten the lives of women and girls living on Native American reservations. The panel will address issues faced by Native American women and NOW believes that this panel discussion will garner the support and assistance of the international community in empowering these women.
Since its founding in 1966, NOW’s goal has been to take action to bring about equality for all women. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote justice and equality in society. NOW together with Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN) and U.S. Women Connect recently founded a Native American Women’s Task Force.