New Report Shows High Rates of Discrimination against Minority and Indigenous Women
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 12:20 PM

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) released a report on July 3, 2011, that exposes the increased vulnerability of minority and indigenous women to a broad spectrum of violence and discrimination. Minority and indigenous women are frequently from poor and remote areas, which inhibit their ability to achieve protection and justice, let alone education and employment.

The report investigates the treatment of several minority groups throughout the world. One hundred percent of the Batwa women interviewed in Uganda reported experiencing violence. The Dalit women of India are continuously discriminated against as members of the “Untouchables” caste, even though the caste system has been officially outlawed. In June 2010, ethnic Uzbek women and girls in Kyrgyzstan were victims of high rates of rape and sexual violence, but the report states that they were not able to receive certain types of support because of “hostility among ethnic Kyrgyz clients.”

Discrimination towards minority women is not limited to the developing world. Muslim women in Britain are continuously subjected to verbal and physical abuse, and indigenous women in Australia have limited access to resources. In almost every developed country, minority women are vastly underrepresented in the spheres of influence such as politics and corporations.

Even in counties where the discrimination against them is an accepted practice, minority women are fighting back. For example Navsarjan, a Dalit human rights group, states that there has been an increase in reported cases of sexual abuse among Dalit women. The report ends on a positive note, stating that "many are actively fighting for their rights as women, for the rights of their communities and for their rights as minority or indigenous women".

Compiled from: Elizabeth Whitman, Minority Women Fight Back Against Mistreatment, Inter Press Service, (6 July 2011).