Earlier this month, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) wrapped up a case that resulted in a landmark legal victory for First Nations women in Canada.
In a case brought forth by Sharon McIvor, the UNHRC found that Canada still discriminates against Indigenous women and their descendants in the registration provisions of the Indian Act.
Before amendments passed in 1985, First Nations women registered under the Indian Act lost their status after marrying a man without status.
Their children were also denied Indian status under the act.
McIvor, whose First Nations’ grandmother had married a non-Indigenous man, found that following the 1985 amendments, she and her children were denied full status but her brother and his descendents were not.
McIvor filed her case with the UNHRC in 2010, when after proving her case at trial and on appeal in Canada, the federal government refused to eliminate sex discrimination from the Indian Act.
The UNHCR’s decision has given Canada 180 days to take steps to remove the discrimination.
Pamela Palmater writes that “Canada cannot claim to stand as a champion of human rights in the global context while continuing to deny First Nations women and children basic human rights.”
In other feminist news on rabble this week, Brent Patterson brings us the story of an Indigenous women’s collective in Guatemala organizing to defend Indigenous women's rights and the land.
Read an excerpt from Tarah Brookfield’s new book Our Voices Must be Heard: Women and the Vote in Ontario, for an inside look at the suffrage movement's triumphs in northern Ontario and the movement’s exclusion of Black and Indigenous women.
On January 19, women across the world marched on the second anniversary of the historic Women’s March. Check out the Activist Toolkit’s compilation of stories from marches and associated actions in communities across Canada.
And coming up next week, an “ emerging democracy” conference features a panel with women in government and civil society.