Women and Human Rights - Marama Davidson


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How does a human rights approach support diversity among women?
What does a woman\’s reality look like behind a human rights lens?

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  • Intro:
    Mihi and intro
    Who am I,
    Thanks to WSA and Dr Rachel Kumar
    ‘It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognise, accept and celebrate those differences.’ - Audre Lorde
    How might we build stronger connections among women, while respecting and celebrating our diversity? Before next slide…
    Continuum – How much do you think you know about human rights?
  • DOES a human rights approach add value to my life??????
    And some case studies of course, that will probably be woven through anyhow
    I spoke to Dr Rachel Simon-Kumar assuming that we would focus on a women’s identity analysis in today’s workshop, but was encouraged that Rachel insisted that a more diverse analysis be given to highlight those very diversities that lay across the identity of being female.
  • so human rights apply to everyone, but apply differently! (diversity)
    Match brainstorming to UDHR
    “Human rights deal with how people live together. In particular they set out the basis for the relationship between the governed and those who govern.
    Examples of human rights include civil and political rights such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, equality before the law and the right to be free from discrimination. Social, cultural and economic rights include the right to participate in culture, the right to work, the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to education.
    Everyone is equally entitled to human rights without discrimination
    With human rights come duties and responsibilities.”
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
    "Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."
    Unlike most other members of the Commission, Mrs. Roosevelt was neither a scholar nor an expert on international law. Her enthusiasm for her work at the United Nations was rooted in her humanitarian convictions and her steady faith in human dignity and worth. Although she often joked that she was out of place among so many academics and jurists, her intellect and compassion were great assets, and proved to be of crucial importance in the composition of a direct and straightforward Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    Died 1962 before even I was born!
  • Look at the treaties that we have signed and ratified.
    So now lets have a look at some case studies from NZ in relation to some of these treaties.
  • Look at the treaties that we have signed and ratified.
    So now lets have a look at some case studies from NZ in relation to some of these treaties.
  • Equal Employment Commissioner Dr Judy McGregor said, “New Zealand is seen as a world leader in ensuring a fair go for women. Unfortunately we risk real damage to that reputation unless there is a broad commitment to genuine change.”
    In the public sector the 2010 Census of Women’s Participation notes that although women make up 59 per cent of public servants, but only 17.6 per cent of chief executives and experience a gender pay gap where women earn 15.4 per cent less than men.
    The 2010 Census puts forward an Agenda for Change with seven key actions that will make a genuine and sustainable difference. These include:
    the NZ Stock Exchange monitoring the Australian gender diversity reporting and adopting it in 2012
    ensuring that Government departments take concerted steps to close the gender pay gap in their workforces
    Identifying and mentoring the next generation of women leaders.
  • Many more women than men live in poverty and at the other end of the socio-economic spectrum few women occupy positions of governance and leadership in the business sector.
    Women are one and a half times more likely than men to live in a household with a total annual income of $30,000 or less. The consultation report states that the median annual income for women of $19,100 falls more than a third (39 per cent) behind the $31,000 for men. Three quarters of people with an income over $75,000 are men.
  • Look at the treaties that we have signed and ratified.
    So now lets have a look at some case studies from NZ in relation to some of these treaties.
  • Also have teletypewriter, language line and appointment with signer is available
  • Women and Human Rights - Marama Davidson

    1. 1. Marama Davidson Human Rights Commission How does a human rights approach support diversity among women? What does a woman’s reality look like behind a human rights lens? 21 November 2010
    2. 2. Overview What is a human rights framework? What is a human rights approach? How does a human rights framework and approach add value to my life?
    3. 3. Human Rights What do we mean? “HUMAN RIGHTS ARE RIGHTS THAT ANY PERSON HAS AS A HUMAN BEING” Kofi Annan, Previous UN Secretary General
    4. 4. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Adopted by the United Nations 10 December 1948 • Founding ‘declaration’ of human rights - “mother ship” • Gives clear standards for minimum human rights that all humans are born with
    5. 5. UDHR Article 1 – Everyone is born free and equal in human rights. Article 25 – Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for health and wellbeing.
    6. 6. UN Convention on Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) Entry into force 3 September 1981. “Concerned that in situations of poverty women have the least access to food, health, education, training and opportunities for employment and other needs.” (small extract from Preamble)
    7. 7. CEDAW Article 3 • States Parties shall take in all fields, in particular in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, all appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men.
    8. 8. CEDAW Article 5 States Parties shall take all appropriate measures: • a) To modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women;
    9. 9. International framework NZ commits itself to respect, promote and fulfil the rights in the UDHR. • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) • International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) • International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) • UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities • UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
    10. 10. Domestic human rights framework There are two main pieces of law in New Zealand that specifically promote and protect human rights. One is the Human Rights Act 1993, and the other is the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. The Treaty of Waitangi is also important as our founding document, in how it affords all New Zealanders rights and responsibilities to belong.
    11. 11. Doing things the ‘right’ way A “Human Rights Approach” • Link decisions to ‘human rights’ • Highlight important rights and balance them – prioritise the most vulnerable people • Involve people in decision making • Treat people fairly • Empower people • Be accountable for actions and ensure people can make a complaint
    12. 12. Census of Women’s Participation Census of Women’s Participation records backward slide The Census of Women’s Participation 2010, released today, shows that female participation in governance, professional and public life has begun to slide, erasing hard fought gains.
    13. 13. “Human Rights and Women” reviewing where we are at? Poverty for women, violence against women and female representation in public life are three immediate challenges for New Zealand. This draft discussion document notes that while New Zealand women are faring well in many areas, there remain persistent hurdles to overcome before women achieve equality.
    14. 14. Discussion points “Woman with moko wins $3000 for discrimination” (Media headline September 2003) “Anger at Te Papa ban on pregnant women” (Media headline October 2010)
    15. 15. Women as human rights activists Shining a human rights torch on specific issues for women • Research and education • Advocacy and lobbying • Raising awareness • Making networks
    16. 16. Human Rights Commission Our Vision: The Commission works for a fair, safe and just society, where diversity is valued and human rights are respected.
    17. 17. Human Rights Commission Infoline 0800 496 877 infoline@hrc.co.nz Marama - DDI (09) 306 2665 maramad@hrc.co.nz www.hrc.co.nz – full contact details