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International Achievements in Women’s Human Rights What they are and why they matter.

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Presentation on theme: "International Achievements in Women’s Human Rights What they are and why they matter."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Achievements in Women’s Human Rights What they are and why they matter

2 BUT WHAT ARE RIGHTS? You can’t make me do that!

3 Human rights are the rights a person has simply because he or she is a human bring. Human Rights are: 1. 1.Universal: every human has them, no matter what race, age, language, sex, or social distinction 2. 2.Inalienable: you cannot lose them any more than you can cease being human 3. 3.Indivisible: you cannot be denied a right because it is “less important” or “non-essential”

4 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Most important human rights document Most important human rights document Was written in 1948, following the horrific experiences of the Holocaust and World War II Was written in 1948, following the horrific experiences of the Holocaust and World War II Many people sought to create a document that prevent future human rights atrocities from taking place and to ensure a world in which every human has and knows their rights. Many people sought to create a document that prevent future human rights atrocities from taking place and to ensure a world in which every human has and knows their rights. Fundamental consensus on what rights all human beings should have Fundamental consensus on what rights all human beings should have

5 Basic human rights: Basic human rights: As articulated by the Universal Declaration for Human Rights

6 “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

7 Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person

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10 Do they enjoy these basic human rights?

11 Private vs. Public: Threat to Women’s Human Rights The pervasive division of life into "public" and "private" spheres has its roots in the desire to limit the jurisdiction of the government. The pervasive division of life into "public" and "private" spheres has its roots in the desire to limit the jurisdiction of the government. In many countries, this has meant that what individuals do in the "public" sphere is subject to regulation, while activities taking place in the "private" sphere are thought to be exempt from governmental scrutiny. In many countries, this has meant that what individuals do in the "public" sphere is subject to regulation, while activities taking place in the "private" sphere are thought to be exempt from governmental scrutiny. Human rights were traditionally seen as applied only to public sphere Human rights were traditionally seen as applied only to public sphere

12 Private vs. Public: Threat to Women’s Human Rights Women have traditionally been relegated to the "private" sphere of the home and family Women have traditionally been relegated to the "private" sphere of the home and family the typical citizen has been portrayed as male, the typical citizen has been portrayed as male, Thus the dominant notions of human rights have historically had men as the center Thus the dominant notions of human rights have historically had men as the center Women have been marginalized in the human rights discussion because they are seen outside the public sphere Women have been marginalized in the human rights discussion because they are seen outside the public sphere

13 Private vs. Public: Threat to Women’s Human Rights Therefore, abuses done to women in the name of family, religion, and culture have been hidden by the sanctity of the so-called private sphere, and perpetrators of such human rights violations have enjoyed immunity from accountability for their actions. Therefore, abuses done to women in the name of family, religion, and culture have been hidden by the sanctity of the so-called private sphere, and perpetrators of such human rights violations have enjoyed immunity from accountability for their actions. Examples: rape, wife murder, FGM, reproductive rights Examples: rape, wife murder, FGM, reproductive rights Bottom line: women have not historically not enjoyed their due human rights Bottom line: women have not historically not enjoyed their due human rights

14 What does it mean that “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”? It’s the revolutionary notion that women are human beings It’s the revolutionary notion that women are human beings It declares, quite simply, that as human beings women have human rights. It declares, quite simply, that as human beings women have human rights. On the other hand, “women’s human rights” is a revolutionary notion: states that women can no longer be marginalized in the human rights discourse. On the other hand, “women’s human rights” is a revolutionary notion: states that women can no longer be marginalized in the human rights discourse.

15 What are women’s human rights? Basic human rights for women: Basic human rights for women: Equality before the law Equality before the law Life Life Freedom of expression, political participation, religion Freedom of expression, political participation, religion Freedom from torture and slavery Freedom from torture and slavery Important women’s human rights issues: Important women’s human rights issues: Violence against women (esp. in conflict) Violence against women (esp. in conflict) Equality under the law and at home Equality under the law and at home

16 Women’s Human Rights Achievements—The UN United Nations Decade for Women ( ): women from many geographical, racial, religious, cultural, and class backgrounds took up organizing to improve the status of women. United Nations Decade for Women ( ): women from many geographical, racial, religious, cultural, and class backgrounds took up organizing to improve the status of women. The United Nations-sponsored women's conferences: Mexico City(1975,) Copenhagen (1980,) and Nairobi(1985, ) The United Nations-sponsored women's conferences: Mexico City(1975,) Copenhagen (1980,) and Nairobi(1985, ) convened to evaluate the status of women and to formulate strategies for women's advancement. convened to evaluate the status of women and to formulate strategies for women's advancement.

17 Women’s Human Rights Achievements—The UN The UN issues more “Conventions” or international treaties regarding women’s human rights for countries to sign: The UN issues more “Conventions” or international treaties regarding women’s human rights for countries to sign: Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (1979) Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (1979) Currently, 185 countries - over ninety percent of the members of the United Nations - are party to the Convention. Currently, 185 countries - over ninety percent of the members of the United Nations - are party to the Convention. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (1995) Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (1995)

18 Women’s Human Rights Achievements—Civil Society More civil society NGO’s (Non-governmental organizations) take on the issue of women’s human rights. More civil society NGO’s (Non-governmental organizations) take on the issue of women’s human rights. Ex: Amnesty International once said that “violence against women is not a human rights issue.” Now they have a Stop Violence Against Women Campaign.

19 More Women’s Human Rights Organizations:

20 Human Rights for Women = Human Rights for All Women play a vital role it fighting for realization of all human rights

21 This photograph was taken at a demonstration against the White government, during the singing of the ANC anthem, NKosiSikele Africa. At one stage, NKosiSikele Africa was banned and singing it publicly was a criminal offense. Today it is the New South Africa's national anthem. Women helped end apartheid in South Africa

22 Women fight for equal rights and democracy in Iran

23 Mary Robinson, Ireland’s first female president Women bring peace to Northern Ireland

24 Threats to Women’s Human Rights religious or cultural fundamentalisms of different kinds religious or cultural fundamentalisms of different kinds power of ultra-conservative forces within governments and their influence on foreign and domestic policies power of ultra-conservative forces within governments and their influence on foreign and domestic policies backlashes in the media, judiciary, public opinion backlashes in the media, judiciary, public opinion an increase in violence, conflict and war an increase in violence, conflict and war

25 It’s up to all of us to promote gender equality!


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