“Women Rights are Human Rights”

In 1975 that the international community sat down and discussed inequality between men and women; this was the first time gender inequality was officially recognized. A form of concern for the “women question “ developed, and many international instruments today writes about human rights, but explicitly mentions “women’s rights”. Article 1 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

This shows clearly that a distinction of sex is not in line with this declaration. The International Covenant on Civil and Political rights (ICCPR) and International Covenant on Economic, social, and cultural rights (ICESCR) prohibits violence against women. ICCPR states the following in Article 2.

Each state party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the right recognized the present Covenant, without distinction of any kid, such as race, color, sex, language, religion political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

The most distinguished international instrument in dealing with rights of women is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979 (CEDAW), it is the first convention that that identify and define discriminations against women. The silence on discrimination against women was broken. CEDAW seeks to set out practices that are discriminatory and list appropriate action against them, the convention does not specifically mention violence against women per say, only in regards to areas of trafficking and prostitution in article 6.Although many of the anti -discrimination clauses has provided the basis for protecting women against violence. With the conventions comes the Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, they have come drafted different general recommendations.

For example General Recommendation no. 12, adopted in 1989 – it requests that states should include in their report information about violence against women and the measures taken to eliminate it. This recommendation gives states more obligation, and the issue of violence against women becomes more public and highlighted. General Recommendation no.19 is very important because is talk’s entirely about violence against women and states that gender-based violence is a form of discrimination that inhabits a women´s ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men. CEDAW defines gender-based violence as violence directed against a women because she is a women or which affects women disproportionately, for example it is recognized that rural women are at a special risk to violence but family violence is widespread.

Lastly, the UN declaration on Elimination of violence against women (DEDAW). At the 1993 Vienna world conference it was stated that “women rights are human rights”. From that statement DEDAW was adopted in the UN General Assembly. Like all other declarations, it is not legally binding but it recognizes the fundamental struggles and defines violence against women:

Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in: physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether owing public or private”

In conclusion, international legal frameworks have defined discrimination against women, which includes gender-based violence.

In these conventions it is recognized that women are discriminated in different forms, one of these forms are sexual gender based violence. Most importantly it realizes that gender-based violence is a forms of discrimination that inhabits a women´s ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men.

The international legal framework sets out the appropriate actions states shall take in preventing this issue, and this varies between the states. Yet today there is no state in the world that can honestly state that they have succeeded in preventing discrimination against women, and it is something that we should work towards succeeding.

If you want to read the laws more closely klick on the following links:

Universal Declaration of Human rights:

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Documents/UDHR_Translations/eng.pdf

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/ccpr.pdf

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/cedaw.pdf

Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/eliminationvaw.pdf

International Covenant on Economic, social, and cultural rights: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/cescr.

By:

Christina Malmgren,

Advocacy, Governance and Community Partnerships Programme.

 

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