Women's rights

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WoSt 110 Women's Rights

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Women's rights

  1. 1. Women’s Rights WOST 110
  2. 2. Transnational feminism <ul><li>Global feminism movements span across multiple nations and have at their core the belief that women are entitled to the same rights as men, regardless of where the women live, their ethnicity and their social class. </li></ul><ul><li>Global feminism recognizes diversity & acknowledges that there are diverse meanings of feminism, each responsive to the needs and issues of women in different regions, societies and times. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Women’s Rights as Human Rights <ul><li>Unequal status of women & abuses against women </li></ul><ul><li>are viewed as human rights violations . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UNHRC declares, freedom from torture & slavery as basic human rights. Therefore, domestic violence is a human rights violation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sexual assault is a form of terrorism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and rape is a form of torture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Female infanticide & neglect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are forms of female genocide </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Global feminists work to ensure that human rights instruments and mechanisms provide avenues for challenging the systemic abuse of women. </li></ul><ul><li>Gender-based asylum for domestic violence and FGM </li></ul>
  4. 4. The United Nations' contributions to gender progress <ul><li>Specialized UN agencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DAW, UNIFEM, INSTRAW </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conventions and treaties </li></ul><ul><li>Four major international women’s rights conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Programs and initiatives specific to women’s issues and needs </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Commission on the Status of Women <ul><li>Established 1946 </li></ul><ul><li>Monitors the Situation of Women </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes Women’s Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Sets Universal Standards Regarding the Status of Women </li></ul><ul><li>Has a leading Role in Bringing Women’s Concerns to the Attention of the UN Specialized Agencies </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Decade for Women <ul><li>1975-1985 </li></ul><ul><li>The Creation of National and International Forums </li></ul><ul><li>Gathering Data about Women </li></ul><ul><li>Holding Three World Women’s Conferences </li></ul>
  7. 7. UN World Conferences on Women <ul><li>Publicized the low status and power of women </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This led to increased grassroots activism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Encouraged national commitment to increase the status of women through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of women’s bureaus and commissions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal changes </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. The UN Women’s Conferences: Important Outcomes <ul><li>International attention and commitment to women’s rights and status </li></ul><ul><li>The growth of the NGO forums </li></ul><ul><li>Transnational feminist movement </li></ul>
  9. 9. 1 st Women’s Conference <ul><li>1975 </li></ul><ul><li>World plan of action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To work to end discrimination against women </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 3 rd Conference <ul><li>1985 </li></ul><ul><li>Nairobi </li></ul><ul><li>Looking at strategies for the advancement of women </li></ul>
  11. 11. 4 th Conference <ul><li>1995 Beijing </li></ul><ul><li>The Platform For Action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For each critical area of concern, it specifies strategic objectives and actions to be undertaken by governments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identifies critical areas of concern </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The feminization of poverty </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inequalities in education, politics, the economy </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Violence against women </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Persistent discrimination against and violation of the rights of the girl child </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. “ Beijing +5” Conference <ul><li>Approved the Political Declaration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A statement agreeing to eradicate harmful customary or traditional practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women have the right to decide freely and responsibly the matters related to their sexuality, without discrimination, coercion, or violence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affirming governments’ responsibility to implement the Beijing Platform For Action </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) <ul><li>The 1979 treaty: 186 out 192 countries ratified it </li></ul><ul><li>Definition of Discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Nations Agree to : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate Discrimination Against Women in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Employment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Politics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Submit Reports on their Progress to the CEDAW Committee every 4 Years </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Optional Protocol to CEDAW (1999)- 90 states </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communications Procedure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inquiry Procedure </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. The Vienna Declaration and Program of Action <ul><li>Codifies Women’s Rights Abuses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Abuse within the family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>War crimes against women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Violation of women’s bodily integrity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socioeconomic abuses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political participation and persecution abuses </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Challenges to Women’s Human Rights Agenda <ul><li>Moving From Visibility to Accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing Women’s Rights into Mainstream Human Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Respecting Cultural Diversity While Promoting Universal Human Rights </li></ul>
  16. 16. 1. Moving From Visibility to Accountability <ul><li>A lack of proper implementation machinery </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of women’s awareness of that machinery that would empower them </li></ul><ul><li>CEDAW committee monitors compliance with the conventions </li></ul><ul><li>But has not yet declared any government in violation of women’s human rights </li></ul><ul><li>Very little litigation Nationally & internationally concerning the violation of women’s human rights </li></ul><ul><li>Ideological resistance to human rights for women in local customs & laws </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about rights is not meaningful in some cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Viewed as another tool of the West to eradicate indigenous cultures </li></ul>
  17. 17. Bringing Women’s Rights into Mainstream Human Rights <ul><li>The long-term male domination of all-powerful political bodies nationally and internationally means that issues of concern to men are seen as general human concern whereas women’s concerns are relegated to a specialized & marginalized sphere. </li></ul><ul><li>The creation of specialized bodies for addressing women’s issues within the UN has contributed to their marginalization. So mainstream organs of the UN such as CHR have paid little attention to women’s human rights violation. </li></ul><ul><li>The specialized bodies are under funded. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Respecting Cultural Diversity While Promoting Universal Human Rights <ul><li>Notion of universality are frequently undermined by beliefs that respect for cultural & religious diversity provides exceptions to human rights law. </li></ul><ul><li>Claims for universality are rejected as imperialistic & a way to uphold Western economic interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural diversity and human rights must be balanced. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural relativism is the notion that rights and wrong are determined culturally. </li></ul><ul><li>Radical Cultural relativists suggest that Western condemnations of gender discrimination in other regions are insensitive and ethnocentric & are a version of cultural imperialism </li></ul><ul><li>Other Cultural relativists are more selective. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. The treatment of women is often prescribed by a culture’s religious practices, therefore calls for change are instances of religious intolerance. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When pressured about international HR, repressive government often hide behind insincere claim of Cultural relativism as a way to remove the pressure </li></ul></ul>

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