WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Human Rights Include Women Too

Human Rights Include Women Too

All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

(1966, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 26)

Women’s access to and control over productive resources such as land and their right to property should be guaranteed in law and in practice. Access to land is crucial for strengthening particularly rural women’s empowerment and livelihood. Women’s access to land depends on multiple factors such as laws, inheritance, marital status and agrarian reform policies. As land is mostly mediated through husbands, fathers, brothers or sons, women’s land rights are negotiated within unequal power relationships and are not assumed to be general entitlements. Despite representing the majority of the agricultural workforce and production, women are estimated to control only 5 % of land globally. Access of women to credit is the cornerstone of economical empowerment of women. States should promote women’s access to credits, especially at rural and urban levels in order to provide women with a higher quality of life and reduce the level of poverty among women. (Based on the Preliminary study of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee on discrimination in the context of the right to food, 2010 A/HRC/RES/13/32.)

Access to justice can be defined as the right of individuals and groups to obtain a quick, effective and fair response to protect their rights, prevent or solve disputes and control the abuse of power through a transparent and efficient process, in which mechanisms are available, affordable and accountable. States have obligations under international law to ensure access to justice. Women’s access to justice is a legal and constitutional framework that guarantees women’s rights, but without education, awareness of rights and decision making power, women are often unable to claim their rights, obtain legal aid or go to court.

Accountability is a core element of democracy and good governance. Accountability relationships help to ensure that decision-makers adhere to publicly agreed standards, norms, and goals through two processes: 1. Power-holders give an account of what they did with the public trust and national revenue; 2. Corrective action is taken, if necessary, through a process of enforcement of remedy by setting up a judicial inquiry. Gender-sensitive accountability requires that the decisions of public actors can be assessed by women and men equally and that gender equality is one of the standards against which the performance of decision-makers is assessed. In the context of violence against women, accountability means that State actors hold perpetrators accountable for their acts of violence. Accountability is crucial for upholding the human rights of women and their right to a life free from violence, particularly in countries in post-conflict situations. (Based on: UNIFEM: Who Answers to Women? Gender & Accountability. Progress of the world’s women 2008/09.)

“Adolescence” is frequently defined by several UN agencies as ranging from 10 to 19 years of age. Adolescent girls may have a higher risk of gender based violence such as rape, domestic violence, sex trafficking, forced marriage, crimes in the name of honour, sexual assault and abuse and traditional practices like female genital mutilation/cutting and dowry. Violence has profound effects on the reproductive health of adolescent girls. It can result in unwanted pregnancies, obstetric fistula and maternal mortality, unsafe abortion, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and leaves deep psychological scars.

Women’s Rights issues are a concern to all human beings, across all genders. How we treat & what we teach our women and our daughters, makes or break the nation. Importantly, how women view themselves within a society is crucial for the empowerment of our sons and daughters. As a result the question is directed to all of us today; “What do you see when you see your mother, your sister, your daughter, your wife, your girlfriend?” Do you see a warrior, a victor, a leader, a world changer and a mentor? Do you see her as the next Shaka Zulu, a Napoleon Bonaparte, an Alexandra the Great, a Gandhi, a Martin Luther, a Nelson Mandela? Or do you see someone weak, less smart, less daring, less bold, less gutsy and less caring about the global needs? Or perhaps you see her somewhat only being financially successful with her family falling apart, and seeing her well off only if; she is attached to a male? Do you have female role models? If so, what do they represent to you? Take a minute and think about that because it is very important what you (as an individual) think, what you believe about women and leadership.

Women’s rights are the rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls of many societies worldwide. In some places these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, and behaviour, whereas in others they may be ignored or suppressed. They differ from broader notions of human rights through claims of an inherent historical and traditional bias against the exercise of rights by women and girls in favour of men and boys. Issues commonly associated with notions of women’s rights include, though are not limited to, the right: to bodily integrity and autonomy; to vote (suffrage); to hold public office; to work; to fair wages or equal pay; to own property; to education; to serve in the military or be conscripted; to enter into legal contracts; and to have marital or parental rights.

Recognition is a human right Identity is ‘partly shaped by recognition or its absence’. Recognition platforms within a particular industry enhances skill, talent and the appreciation thereof, but significantly it also increases value of both the people and the products. Then ‘Non-recognition can inflict harm, can be a form of oppression, imprisoning someone in a false, distorted, and reduced mode of being’.

GWRM has identified the great harm inflicted on many women around the world  today and in the past and therefore our goal is creating a different future. A future whereby women are correctly recognized in their respective fields of occupation or in the contributions to advance societies. Empowerment_WomenAt the moment, to be a woman in the world means that one is politicized from the moment of one’s birth, whether one acknowledges it or not. She gives birth to future generations, only to go home to an unequal partnership with her husband. She is paid less than men colleagues for the same position, even though she is qualified/over-qualified for that position. She is often never recognized for her contributions and is taken for granted. She is often regarded as a sex symbol. She is denied education. She is often prevented to voice her opinions and her rights to vote are taken away from her. Religion oppresses her instead of protecting her —and strangely enough, more women are religious than men worldwide. The list is endless. Her life is circumscribed by discriminating laws. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution (written or unwritten) and the rights encoded therein.

The law shapes politics, economics and society in countless ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people—behavior and beliefs. In addition, here we see a great example of the power of the law, and the damage in which it has created towards global women oppression; as such today it is no longer the opposition who is advocating for these ideas more than women themselves who are enforcing these laws on each other. Legally, women have gained much equality to men. However, the inner workings of society need to be revamped to eliminate all prejudices women face simply because they are women. The role of women in society has always been an issue throughout the ages and throughout Western Europe,   and more or less all over the world. Before the age of the Enlightenment, or the Dark Ages, women were always seen as secondary to men in all aspects. Most reasons were religious while others were just the way that life was then. By the late 18th century, at the time of the French Revolution and the continuance of the Enlightenment era, the role of women in society began changing drastically as the lights of the world were now open with this brand new enlightened era. Women began holding jobs, yet still did not receive the same privileges as men. By the time the Industrial Revolution came along in the 19th century many more jobs were opened to women in the work force. Reforms began in all areas throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries as women were gaining more and more rights and acceptance into the everyday life. By the time the 20th century rolled around and throughout, no longer was it thought that women belonged in the home (although few still feel that way), yet many women began serving professional jobs as doctors, lawyers, and politicians.

Now today some of the most successful people in the business world are women, as women have even started their own companies. Sustainable development and inclusive economic growth can be achieved only by associating development and respect for human rights. Human  rights of women and girls, are often challenged, threatening the progress achieved so far in terms of global human rights movement. Worldwide gender disparities and discrimination against women and girls persist. Yet, the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment would unleash the full potential of half the world’s population. It is a prerequisite and driver of poverty eradication, sustainable development, peace, security and most of all human rights. Recognition, in its full meaning is a basic human right. non-recognition of women however is a violation of those human rights. violators are therefore committing injustice to those whom they withhold recognition when it is due. Withholding recognition to women is a violation of their human rights. image

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