Kemberly Gonzalez, a part of the local promoter team for UN Women arrives in Puente Viejo and meets with indigenous women. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Kemberly Gonzalez, a part of the local promoter team for UN Women arrives in Puente Viejo and meets with indigenous women. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

UN Women statement  

On International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, UN Women stands with indigenous women and girls in their call to revive, preserve and sustain their languages, and to speak with voices that are loud, strong and clearly heard in the many spheres that they inhabit. Read more►

On 9 August, UN Women joins indigenous peoples around the world to commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year, the day focuses on the theme “Indigenous Languages”, and calls to revitalise, preserve, and promote indigenous languages around the world.

The 370 million indigenous people living across 90 countries are the custodians of the majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages. Every two weeks, an indigenous language disappears, risking the loss of indigenous cultures and knowledge.

For indigenous women and girls, the inability to express themselves in the language of their choice and culture renders them even more invisible in public life. It restricts access to participation, justice, and critical services like education and health care.

Indigenous women play important roles in their communities and beyond, and UN Women stands with them every day as they strive for rights, protection and their rightful seat at any table where decisions impacting their lives are being made.

Top stories

Sonia Maribel Sontay Herrera. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

From where I stand: “Just the act of wearing our traditional clothes is an expression of resistance”

Agnes Leina, Founder and Executive Director of Il’laramatak Community Concerns

Ask an activist: Why is economic independence important for indigenous women in Kenya?

A woman sells handicrafts at a local market. Photo: UN Women/Sarika Chand

We are equal, we are important, say nofotane women of Samoa

Matcha Phorn-in poses for a photo

Take Five: “If you are invisible in everyday life, your needs will not be thought of, let alone addressed, in a crisis situation”



In Photos: Indigenous women’s rights and activism

Guatemala: A house of art and memories seeks to bring closure

UN Women spotlights the voices and activism of indigenous women from around the world, as they tackle the challenges of climate change, poverty, gender-based violence, armed conflicts and more.


Video: Empower indigenous women, strengthen communities

Indigenous women are custodians of their communities’ traditions and natural resources, but they are also among the world’s most vulnerable and marginalised peoples. On International Day of Indigenous Peoples, learn more about the challenges indigenous women face, and how they play key roles in their communities and contribute to peace building and sustainable environmental practices.


More than one in three indigenous women are raped during their lifetime Percentage of all people globally living in extreme rural poverty from indigenous communities: 33%. Women are disproportionately impacted due to their roles as caregivers and managers of resources.

Social media

Stand up for rights, cultures, and livelihoods of the world’s indigenous peoples.

Join the conversation using #WeAreIndigenous (English) and #SomosIndígenas (Spanish).

A social media package with graphics and suggested messages in multiple languages can be found here.