• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Towards the promotion of the rights of indigenous groups still marginalized


Aug 14, 2022

GITEGA August 14th (ABP) – The Minister in charge of National Solidarity, Mrs. Imelde Sabushimike, during the celebration of the International Day of Indigenous People, said that indigenous women have a leading role in the safeguarding and transmission of traditional knowledge in their families, despite the multiple problems they face.

According to Minister Sabushimike, this day is an opportunity for indigenous peoples to experience the joy of expressing themselves freely after many years of darkness, oppression, exclusion, marginalization and other abuses.

It is also an opportunity to assess the place that indigenous people, especially women, occupy in decision-making bodies and in the fight against any ill-treatment towards them.

She pointed out that, even today, indigenous women experience many difficulties, including undervaluation in society, poverty, lack of schooling, lack of employment, health care and the means to promote traditional knowledge in matters of pottery, their ancient profession.

Indigenous women, she added, require unwavering support to live in normal conditions like others because most of them work alone in their households. Indeed, the Minister recommended that men support their wives in the development of households and the society in which they live.

Mrs. Sabushimike praised the contribution of the government of Burundi in the development of the indigenous people of Burundi. She said that the State has carried out several initiatives, in particular, sensitizing Batwa families for legal marriages, giving plates to the vulnerable and providing health care to the vulnerable.

                                                                                                   View of the participants

As for the representative of the coordinator of the United Nations system in Burundi, Mr. Damien Mama, the challenges encountered in the lives of indigenous peoples are universal. Hence, this day establishes collective responsibility to redress injustices and take measures to safeguard and promote the rights of indigenous communities.

Mr. Mama also pointed out that indigenous peoples are, even today, forced to live on the margins of society, are looked down upon in some circles, and are treated as second-class citizens on the pretext of their different way of life, as their cultural specificity is often misunderstood, he added.

He thus called on the government of Burundi, in collaboration with the United Nations, to identify indigenous groups still marginalized or at risk of being so in order to promote their rights.

He promised the government of Burundi that the United Nations system will support the efforts undertaken by the government of Burundi to promote the lives of indigenous peoples, particularly in the development of a national strategy for the socio-economic integration of the Batwa for sustainable development by 2023-2027.