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Women’s Human Rights in the Governance of the Arctic – Gender Equality and Violence against Indigenous Women

Journal article
Authors Eva-Maria Svensson
Monica Burman
Published in The Yearbook of Polar Law Online
Volume 9
Issue 1
Pages 53-78
ISSN 1876-8814
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Law
Pages 53-78
Language en
Keywords governance – the Arctic – women’s human rights – gender equality – violence against indigenous women – The Arctic Council
Subject categories Law


Previous studies show a lack of deference and activities when it comes to women’s human rights and gender equality in the multi-level governance of the Arctic. According to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, women in the Arctic are vulnerable, in particular indigenous and rural women. Their rights are not upheld in the Arctic states for example when it comes to exposure to violence, equal participation in governing bodies, and economic self-support. The public governing bodies have almost no focus on gender equality at all, despite far-reaching international obligations and, for several of the states, national ambitious agendas for gender equality politics. International instruments with obligations to strive for gender equality, such as the CEDAW, the ILO Convention 169 and UNDRIP, are scarcely referred to and not sufficiently implemented by the public governance bodies. The aim of this article is to raise awareness of the obligations set up by human rights documents to promote women’s rights in the governance of the Arctic, in order to put pressure on the states to develop strategies for a future gender equal governance. We have a special focus on the general lack of awareness within public governance, and on men’s intimate partner violence against indigenous women.

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