Human Rights: The Status of Women

Human Rights: The Status of Women
▪ 1995

      The discrimination and violence experienced by women diverged significantly in 1994 from the vision of freedoms set out in the United Nations' 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The document called for such basic individual rights as freedom of conscience, freedom of expression and association, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, freedom from torture, the right to a fair trial, and freedom from extrajudicial execution.

      During the 1990s groups such as Amnesty International took direct action to stop human rights violations against women in 50 countries around the world. Many of these women—including those imprisoned, in police custody, in areas of armed conflict, and attempting to flee government persecution—endured torture, rape, and such forms of sexual coercion as body-cavity and strip searches. Many governments, however, adamantly refused to recognize rape and sexual abuse by their agents as acts of torture and ill treatment for which the state bore responsibility.

      Although Article Seven of the 1993 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women called upon governments to ensure women's full participation in the political and public life of their countries, women were often detained, harassed, intimidated, or tortured and killed because of their activities in groups that promoted civil, political, social, cultural, or economic rights. Among others, academics in China, journalists in Morocco, lawyers in the Philippines, judges in Colombia, political reformers in Myanmar (Burma), opposition leaders in Mozambique, environmentalists in Kenya, and feminists in Peru were threatened.

      Women members of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, often marginalized by the dominant culture of their societies, were particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses. For example, the members of CONAVIGUA, the mainly indigenous Guatemalan widows' association organized to find relatives "disappeared" by the Guatemalan security forces, became victims of death threats, detentions, and assaults by the army. Similar abuses were reported in Peru, Brazil, and Mexico, as well as in Mauritania, The Sudan, Myanmar, India, and Bangladesh.

      Family relationships could also trigger human rights violations. Women were frequently singled out for imprisonment, torture, or death because they were related to men suspected of opposing the government. Tunisian authorities arbitrarily detained and tortured the wives or relatives of men linked to illegal organizations, although most detainees were never charged or brought to trial. Similar practices were documented in Turkey, Syria, Guatemala, Iran, Senegal, Peru, and India. (SUZANNE ROACH)

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • United Nations Commission on the Status of Women — Commission on the Status of Women redirects here. For the U.S. presidential commission, see Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. United Nations portal The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW or UNCSW) is a functional commission o …   Wikipedia

  • Minister responsible for the Status of Women (Canada) — Minister responsible for the Status of Women Ministry Federal …   Wikipedia

  • Human rights in Andorra — are generally respected by the government, and the law and the judiciary provided effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse. However, prolonged pretrial detention and violence against women and children were reported.Respect… …   Wikipedia

  • Human rights — Rights Theoretical distinctions Natural and legal rights Claim rights and liberty rights Negative and positive rights Individual an …   Wikipedia

  • Human rights in Saudi Arabia — are based on sharia religious laws under rule of the Saudi royal family. [cite news url= title=Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2004 publisher=US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy …   Wikipedia

  • Human rights in Russia — The rights and liberties of the citizens of the Russian Federation are granted by Chapter 2 of the Constitution adopted in 1993.cite book title= The Constitution of the Russian Federation url=… …   Wikipedia

  • Human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran — The state of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been criticized both by both Iranians and international human right activists, writers, and NGOs. The United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Commission have condemned… …   Wikipedia

  • Human rights in Egypt — Rights and liberties ratingsFreedom House places Egypt s political rights at 6, civil liberties at 5, and an average of 5.5. This is an improvement, but it places them at unfree. Other nations in North African and the Mideast they place at 5.5… …   Wikipedia

  • Human rights in the United Kingdom — The United Kingdom has a long and established tradition of avowed respect for its subjects human rights. At the same time, the UK, like many nations, has also had a history of both de jure and de facto racial and ethnic religious discrimination,… …   Wikipedia

  • Human rights in post-invasion Iraq — have been the subject of concerns and controversies since the 2003 invasion. Concerns have been expressed about conduct by insurgents, the U.S. led coalition forces and the Iraqi government. The U.S. is investigating several allegations of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.