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Human Rights and Women’s Rights: A Brief History and Overview

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1 Human Rights and Women’s Rights: A Brief History and Overview
Martin Donohoe

2 History of Human Rights
Ancient Greeks, Romans, etc. Era of Kings and Queens Life short, brutal Identification: community vs. individuals Slavery Religious beliefs: Judgmental vs. benevolent divinity

3 History of Human Rights
Enlightenment’s scientific rationalism → Humanism Democratization of reading Developments in relief of suffering: Pain relief (aspirin, narcotics, morphine - isolated 1806) Nitrous oxide (1773), ether anesthesia (1846) Abolitionist movement

4 Declaration of Independence
“All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”

5 Declarations French Assembly’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789 Marquis de Lafayette Rights are “self evident” and “unalienable”

6 Declarations Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen of 1791 Olympe de Gouges (French playwright, feminist, and anti-slavery activist) “Woman is born free and lives equal to Man in her rights” De Gouges executed

7 U.S. Constitution Ratified 1789
Terms “persons,” “people,” and “electors” used, allowing interpretation of those beings as men and women

8 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U. S. (http://www. legacy98
1701 First sexually integrated jury hears cases in Albany, New York 1769 American colonies base their laws on the English common law summarized in the Blackstone Commentaries: “By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in the law? The very being and legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated into that of her husband under whose wing  and protection she performs everything.”

9 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1777 All states pass laws which take away women’s right to vote 1839 Mississippi grants women the right to hold property in their own name, with their husbands’ permission

10 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1848 Declaration of Sentiments, Seneca Falls: Plea for the end of discrimination against women in all spheres of society, including the right to vote 300 men and women sign 1855 In Missouri v. Celia, a Slave, a Black woman is declared to be property without a right to defend herself against a master's act of rape

11 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
th Amendment passed by Congress (ratified 1868) Right to equal representation under the law The first time “citizens” and “voters” are defined as “male” in the Constitution. 1869 Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form National Woman Suffrage Association

12 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1869 Wyoming territory passes first women’s suffrage law 1870 Women permitted to serve on Wyoming juries th Amendment ratified: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” women not specifically excluded

13 Comstock Law: Whoever shall offer to sell, loan, give away, exhibit, publish, or possess an obscene book, pamphlet, advert-isement, print, picture, or drawing or any article for the prevention of conception, or for causing abortion, or shall advertise the same for sale, or shall write or print any circular, book, or pamphlet stating how such articles can be obtained, shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than six months nor more than five years for each offense… Slide Courtesy Dr Steven Miles Anthony Comstock Postal Inspector Politician

14 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1873 Bradwell v. Illinois: U.S. Supreme Court rules that a state has the right to exclude a married woman from practicing law 1875 Minor v Happersett: U.S. Supreme Court declares that a state can prohibit a woman from voting. The court declares women as “persons,” but holds that they constitute a “special category of non-voting citizens.”

15 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1879 Through special Congressional legislation, Belva Lockwood becomes first woman admitted to try a case before the Supreme Court 1893 Colorado first state to allow women right to vote 1900 By now, every state has passed legislation modeled after New York’s Married Women’s Property Act (1848), granting married women some control over their property and earnings

16 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1908 Muller v State of Oregon: Supreme Court upholds Oregon’s 10-hour workday for women Legislation implies that women are physically weak 1916 Margaret Sanger tests the validity of New York’s anti-contraception law by establishing a clinic in Brooklyn 1918 New York v. Sanger, U.S. Court of Appeals: Sanger wins her suit to allow doctors to advise married patients about birth control for health purposes

17 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1919 Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment, originally written by Susan B Anthony and introduced in Congress in 1878, passes House and Senate and is sent to states for ratification 1920 Nineteenth Amendment ratified: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

18 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1923 National Woman’s Party proposes Constitutional amendment: “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and in every place subject to its jurisdiction.” 1924 Radice v. New York – State court upholds law forbidding waitresses from working night shift but makes exception for entertainers and ladies' room attendants

19 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1925 American Indian suffrage granted by act of Congress 1932 National Recovery Act forbids more than one family member from holding a government job, resulting in many women losing their jobs 1936 Federal law prohibiting dissemination of contraceptive information through the mail is modified and birth control no longer classified as obscene

20 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1938 The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes minimum wage without regard to sex 1947 Fay v. New York: U.S. Supreme Court says women are equally qualified with men to serve on juries but are granted an exemption and may serve or not as they choose 1960 FDA approves birth control pills

21 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1961 Hoyt v. Florida: U.S. Supreme Court upholds rules adopted by the state of Florida that make it far less likely for women than men to be called for jury service on grounds that a “woman is still regarded as the center of home and family life.” 1963 Equal Pay Act passed by Congress, promising equitable wages for the same work, regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin or sex of the worker

22 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1964 Title VII of the Civil Rights Act passes including a prohibition against employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. 1965 Weeks v. Southern Bell: ruling against restrictive labor laws and company regulations re hours and conditions of women's work; opens many previously male-only jobs to women

23 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1965 Griswold v Connecticut - Supreme Court overturns one of the last state laws prohibiting the prescription or use of contraceptives by married couples 1966 Founding of National Organization of Women

24 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1967 Loving v State of VA – Supreme Court voids laws barring inter-racial marriage 1968 Executive Order prohibits sex discrimination by government contractors and requires affirmative action plans for hiring women

25 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1969 Bowe v. Colgate-Palmolive Company - Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rules that women meeting the physical requirements can work in many jobs that had been for men only 1969 California adopts the nation’s first “no fault” divorce law, allowing divorce by mutual consent; other laws passed regarding equal division of common property

26 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1971 Phillips v. Martin Marietta Corporation: U.S. Supreme Court outlaws practice of private employers refusing to hire women with pre-school children. 1971 Reed v. Reed: U.S. Supreme Court holds unconstitutional an Idaho law establishing automatic preference for males as administrators of wills

27 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1972 Title IX of the Education Amendments prohibits sex discrimination in all aspects of education programs that receive federal support 1972 Eisenstadt v. Baird: Supreme Court rules that the right to privacy encompasses an unmarried person's right to use contraceptives.

28 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1972 Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passed by Congress and sent to states for ratification 1982 Ratification deadline passes (35/38 needed states ratify) 1973 Pittsburgh Press v. Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations: U.S. Supreme Court bans sex-segregated “help wanted” advertising as a violation of Title VII

29 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1973 Roe v. Wade: U.S. Supreme Court declares that the Constitution protects women’s right to terminate an early pregnancy, thus making abortion legal in the U.S. 1974 Housing discrimination on the basis of sex and credit discrimination against women are outlawed by Congress.

30 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1974 Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur: Court determines it is illegal to force pregnant women to take maternity leave on the assumption they are incapable of working in their physical condition 1975 Taylor v. Louisiana: U.S. Supreme Court denies states the right to exclude women from juries 1976 First marital rape law passed in Nebraska

31 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1976 General Elec. Co v. Gilbert: Supreme Court upholds women’s right to unemployment benefits during the last three months of pregnancy 1976 Craig v. Boren: Supreme Court declares unconstitutional a state law permitting 18 to 20-year-old females to drink beer while denying the rights to men of the same age

32 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans employment discrimination against pregnant women 1981 Supreme Court rules that excluding women from the draft is constitutional 1981 Kirchberg v. Feenstra: Supreme Court overturns state laws designating a husband “head and master” with unilateral control of property owned jointly with his wife

33 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1984 Roberts v. U.S. Jaycees: Supreme Court forbids sex discrimination in membership policies of organizations, opening many previously all-male organizations to women. 1984 Mississippi belatedly ratifies the 19th Amendment, granting women the vote 1986 Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson: Supreme Court holds that a hostile or abusive work environment can prove discrimination based on sex Other criterion for sex discrimination: quid pro quo

34 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1987 Johnson v. Santa Clara County: Supreme Court rules that it is permissible to take sex and race into account in employment decisions even where there is no proven history of discrimination but when evidence of a manifest imbalance exists in the number of women or minorities holding the position in question 1992 Planned Parenthood vs. Casey: Supreme Court upholds woman’s right to abortion under Roe v. Wade

35 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1993 Harris v. Forklift Systems: Supreme Court rules that victim does not need to show that she suffered physical or serious psychological injury as a result of sexual harassment 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act goes into effect

36 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1994 Congress adopts Gender Equity in Education Act to train teachers in gender equity, promote math and science learning by girls, counsel pregnant teens, and prevent sexual harassment 1994 Violence Against Women Act funds services for victims of rape and domestic violence, allows women to seek civil rights remedies for gender-related crimes, and provides training to increase police and court officials’ sensitivity and a national 24-hour hotline for battered women

37 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1996 United States v. Virginia: Supreme Court affirms that the male-only admissions policy of the state-supported Virginia Military Institute violates the Fourteenth Amendment 1997 Elaborating on Title IX, Supreme Court rules that college athletics programs must actively involve roughly equal numbers of men and women to qualify for federal support

38 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
1998 Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton: Supreme Court rules that employers are liable for sexual harassment even when a supervisor’s threats are not carried out. However, the employer can defend itself by showing that it took steps to prevent or promptly correct any sexually harassing behavior and the employee did not take advantage of available opportunities to stop the behavior or complain of the behavior

39 Timeline of Women’s Rights in the U.S.
2000 United States v. Morrison: Supreme Court invalidates those portions of the Violence Against Women Act permitting victims of rape, domestic violence, etc. to sue their attackers in federal court

40 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Emphasis on human dignity and worth, freedom, and universality Adopted 1948 Not universally followed

41 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Rights to life, liberty, and security Prohibits slavery and torture Prohibits discrimination, arbitrary arrest/detention/exile Guarantees fair, public trial by impartial tribunal Innocent until proven guilty

42 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Guarantees protections against interference with family, home, and correspondence Right to freedom of movement and residence Right to nationality, right to seek asylum Equal rights at marriage, within families, and at dissolution of marriage

43 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Right to own property Right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion Right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and association Right to take part in government Right to social security

44 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Right to work, free choice of employment, just and favorable conditions of employment, and protection against unemployment Right to form and join trade unions Right to rest and leisure

45 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Right to adequate standard of living, including food, clothing, housing, medical care, and social services Right to education Free and compulsory in elementary stages Right to participate in cultural life of community Protects scientific, literary, and artistic endeavors

46 The Present International Agreements Wars Torture
Extraordinary rendition Status of Women

47 The US: Rogue Nation History: Native Americans, slavery, current excesses, disparities and injustices Co-opting Nazi and Japanese WWII scientists Minimum 277 troop deployments by the US in its 225+ year history

48 The US: Rogue Nation Since the end of WWII, the US has bombed:
China, Korea, Indonesia, Cuba, Guatemala, Congo, Peru, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Grenada, Libya, Panama, Afghanistan, Sudan, Yugoslavia, and Iraq

49 The US: Rogue Nation Conservative estimate = 8 million killed
US invasions/bombings often largely at behest of corporate interests The US spends vastly more on war and the preparation for war than on peace The US maintains military bases in 69 “sovereign” nations around the world

50 The US: Rogue Nation Continued funding of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation Formerly the School of the Americas Over 60,000 graduates, including many of the worst human rights abusers in Latin America (e.g., Manuel Noriega, Omar Torrijos, and the assassins of Archbishop Oscar Romero) School of the Americas Watch, arrests

51 International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
Failure to sign or approve: Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Land Mines Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

52 International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
Failure to sign or approve: Convention on the Rights of the Child Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons

53 International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
Failure to sign or approve: Protocol 1, Article 55 of the Geneva Conventions, which bans methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment

54 International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
Failure to sign or approve The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (re GM foods)

55 The US: Rogue Nation Death Penalty:
US executes more of its citizens than any other country US is the only country to execute both juveniles and the mentally ill Failure to follow World Court Decisions Largest debtor to the UN (only 40% of dues paid)

56 Education and Activism
The Future Education and Activism

57 Public Health and Social Justice Website
Contact Information Public Health and Social Justice Website


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