Women, Development and the UN by Devaki Jain presenter: Marina Kudasova
Women, Development and the UNDevaki Jain (1933)
Chronology• Pre-UN stage• Early stage (1945-1966)• Development stage (1966-1975)“My notion of democracy is that under it, the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest.” - Mahatma Gandhi
Pre-UN stage• The Hague Conventions on Private International Law in 1902• The Covenant of the League of Nations in 1924• The Inter-American Commission of Women 1928• The Pan-American Union’s Lima Declaration of 1938• The Declaration of Philadelphia of the International Labor Conference in 1944
Early Stage. Main factsand features of the period:• 1945- 4 women in the UN out of 160 participants of the conference• Great impact on creation of the UN foundational document, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, etc.• Strengthening feminist movements, laws, agencies, and commissions“The United Nations rose- like the proverbial phoenix-out of ashes of World War II” (p.11)
Women’s Rights:1. Political right- 1945, imaginatitave step - advocating for giving women full political suffrage- 1952,UN campaign for womens suffrage on a legal footing2. Human rights violations against women and children (1950) "Customs"→ "barbaric"→ "violence against women"→ "rights violations“3. Advocating for the indivisible rights
Information Gathering:• 1947, UN launched a worldwide information gathering questionnaire " Questionnaire on the Legal Status and Treatment of Women”• 1949, survey concerning women education and employment (32 countries participated)• 1950, survey on womens right to vote (74 countries participated)•
Main Concerns:1. The question of "special place" vs. equality. Commission on the Status of Women is separated from the Commission on Human Rights2. The question of internationalization of the issues of womens equality
Development Stage:1. First Development Decade (1960-1970)• 1962, Long-Term Program for the Advancement of Women• 1967, The Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (DEDAW)2. Second Development Decade (1970-1980)• 1970, the UN initiated a Programme of Concerted International Action for the Advancement of Women• 1975, The first UN-sponsored world conference on women in Mexico City3. International Women Decade (1975-1985)
Discussion:“ A new constituency in UN politics called “women” was created, as was the entry of a powerful endowed idea called “women” in UN thought” (p.1). Do you think that women was created as a political project? Why there was a necessity of creating and implementing it?
Discussion:“What does “equality” mean? Does it mean giving women exactly the same rights in the workplace and as citizens? Does it mean writing laws that give special consideration to women because they bear children? How can an international convention designed to give all the women of the world equality be reconciled with differences in political and economic spaces and opportunities? What kind of ideology could be constrained that would encompass the seemingly opposed concepts that women are both different from and equal to men?”
Discussion: Should Commission on the Status of Women be separated from the Commission on Human Rights? Does women needs a “special place” in the UN and in the society in general?