International Advocacy: Reflecting the Health Realities of Indigenous Women, Two-Spirit, Transgender, and Gender-Diverse People

Sept 14, 2022
Shining The Spotlight Issue10 WEBSITE INT ADVOCACY 08

The world changed in 2020. As a health pandemic loomed and COVID-19 spread around the globe, people were forced to isolate in their homes. Unfortunately, the frequency and severity of domestic violence and intimate partner violence increased, creating what activists refer to as a “shadow pandemic.”

In addition, physical distancing and lockdown measures reduced supports and heightened the mental health challenges faced by many Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people.

This begs the question, how can NWAC’s international advocacy help curtail the shadow pandemic and associated mental health concerns?

In August, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO)) invited Member States and civil society organizations to provide written input on the subject, which will be used to develop joint guidance on mental health, human rights, and legislation. The publication will be a resource for countries when considering legislative measures to support the transformation of mental health systems, in line with international human rights law.


NWAC will ensure that WHO’s country guidelines reflect the lived experience and realities of Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people living in this country. NWAC will advocate for culturally appropriate measures when it comes to mental health care. We will advocate for suicide prevention measures and a trauma-informed approach to health care. We will stress the importance of land-based healing and other culturally relevant approaches that are often forgotten in colonial systems of health care and wellness.

Stay tuned. There will be exciting international news come fall.