A group of 118 organizations from the gender community has signed a joint statement calling on the U.S. Congress to maintain funding for foreign assistance, particularly given its vital support for women and girls worldwide.
For October, in which France has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Burundi, CAR, Iraq, Myanmar, and the thematic agenda item of Women, Peace and Security.
Photo credit: unfpa.org
Pregnant women in the United States are b-u-s-y. They have supplements to take and medical appointments to go to. Nurseries to decorate. Hospital bags to pack. In conflict-affected countries, pregnant women and women of reproductive age live in stark contrast to the Western experience. These women often lose critical medical care, including access to contraceptives, safe abortion and delivery services, and antenatal and postpartum care. The result of this situation is a maternal mortality ratio in conflict and post-conflict countries that is 60% greater than the global ratio.
Although sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) were affirmed as a fundamental human right in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development, political interference consistently undermines initiatives to promote SRHR. Case in point, in January of this year, the Trump administration reinstated the Global Gag Rule—a policy that effectively denies women and girls their SRHR as well as their bodily autonomy. Continue reading to learn about the implications of denying women these rights.
For September, in which Ethiopia has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Colombia, Lake Chad Basin Region, Libya, Mali, South Sudan, and Yemen.
For August, in which Egypt has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in DRC, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, and the thematic agenda item of sanctions.
Photo credit: Repeating Islands
Why? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights came about as a result of the atrocities of WWI and WWII. Small countries and humanitarian and religious organizations wanted the Allied powers to live up to their war rhetoric and provide assurances that nations would never again allow massive atrocities to occur as they had during the past wars.
When and Who? In January 1947, the UN Human Rights Commission was established and included members from 18 nations: Australia, Belgium, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR), Chile, China, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Lebanon, Panama, Philippine Republic, United Kingdom, United States of America, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Uruguay and Yugoslavia. The Commission created a drafting committee, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, and tasked with drafting an “international bill of rights.” This committee included men and women from eight (8) countries: Australia, Chile, China, France, Lebanon, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.
What and How? As part of the drafting process, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) formed a committee that included leading intellectuals, philosophers and political scientists to study the theoretical basis for human rights. A questionnaire was sent out to politicians and scholars soliciting their opinions on the idea of a Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The questionnaire asked for reflections on human rights from Confucianism, Islamic, Hindu, and customary law perspectives as well as from American, European, and socialist points of view. Replies came from Mohandas Gandhi, French Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce, and Brave New World author Aldous Huxley.
In addition to UNESCO’s questionnaire, drafting committee staff studied all the world’s existing constitutions and rights instruments as well as suggestions sent to the Secretariat from members of the Human Rights Commission as well as those from outside organizations and individuals.
A list of 48 items that represented the common core of all of these documents and proposals was drawn up. This list was essentially a distillation of nearly two hundred years of efforts to articulate the most basic human values in terms of rights.
In sum, it’s a stretch to claim that human rights are a Western concept considering the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was shaped by:
- officials from 18 nations representing Asia (East and West), Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America and a wide assortment of non-UN organizations and individuals;
- reflections on Confucianism, Islamic, Hindu, customary law, constitutional law and various political views; and
- studies by intellectuals, philosophers and political scientists to study the theoretical basis for human rights.
Want the full story about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the history of human rights as well as news about some human rights organizations that are walking the talk? Keep reading!
For July, in which China has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Sudan (Abyei), and Syria.
This policy brief outlines the findings from the NGOWG monitoring and analysis of the UN Security Council’s daily work over the course of 2016. The recommendations build on the Monthly Action Points (MAP) on Women, Peace and Security, as well as broader advocacy over the course of 2016.
Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus. And, yes, dear readers there are men who not only recognize the benefits of gender equality, but also actively promote it.
Too often gender equality is seen as a women’s issue. The term “gender” is used interchangeably with “women.” Gender equality programs often simply “add women and stir.” Gender justice becomes synonymous with women’s rights. To clarify this misunderstanding, we sought the assistance of Wikipedia (the fount of all wisdom…). According to Wikipedia, gender equality “is the state of equal access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender.”
Now that everything is crystal clear, keep reading to learn about some very impressive (and inspiring) initiatives where men and boys take the lead in promoting gender equality. They’re the GameChangers we love to see!