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The Problems With Women's Rights Essay

2071 words - 9 pages

It is understood by many that from the global outlook, women are not afforded the same rights as men and often have their rights violated. An issue unique to the violation of the rights of women is that these violations are sometimes not actually recognized as violations (Okin, 1998). Beyond the scope of the individual rights of women, there tends to be an under representation of women in the international political arena. It is argued that the political system is set up and run by males and all attempts at human rights are male oriented and excludes women. Confounding the agenda on women’s rights is the role of culture and religion as being a justification for discrimination against women ...view middle of the document...

It would be erroneous to talk about women’s rights without talking about human rights as the main foundation. Since its development in 1948, The Declaration of Human Rights has declared discrimination based upon an individual’s gender to be a violation of human rights (Peach, 2002). At many times, the same rights that are upheld for men are not upheld for women, especially on the international level. Many feminist perspectives argue that the model for human rights is structured behind the standard of men and ruled by men. In reality, the earliest thoughts about human rights were of males as natural right holders (Okin, 1998). It can be argued that the only time a woman is recognized for having her human rights violated is if the same crime has been committed against a man. Atrocities against women are not treated with the same fervor and often times are not noted as human rights violations. It is as if the words "human and female are mutually exclusive by definition; you cannot be woman and human being at the same time (MacKinnon, 1999, p.44).” Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination was the first document to address the detailed rights of women on issues such as pregnancy related health care and affirmative action for women regarding education and employment. This is just one of the strides made in the field of human rights to promote the international equality of women. It is now imperative that in this discourse about women s rights, it be mentioned the injustices that have existed against women.
Violence against women is one of the forefront issues pertaining to the rights of women. Atrocities against women include that of rape, sexual abuse, human trafficking, etc. In fact, the primacy victims of human trafficking worldwide are women and girls. Females are more susceptible to these kinds of crimes because of the “persistent inequalities they face in status and opportunity (Deane, 2010, p.492).” These problems interfere with travelling because the dangers of being human trafficked affect women’s decisions to travel internationally (Deane, 2010).
Women are also disproportionately most affected by the outcomes of post war relations. For example, it is estimated that 70% of the population that remained after the Rwandan genocide were women and children (Dharmapuri, 2011). During times of war, mass rape of women and genocide can be used as a tool to destroy villages and further the agenda of the offending group (Mackinnon, 1998). It is UN resolution 1820 and 1888 that established rape as “a tactic of war deliberately used to intimidate and destabilize populations (Dharmapuri, 2011)”. It may also be be the case that sexual abuse is used as a tool to promote political oppression (Freedman, 2008). All of these injustices that exist against women are outwardly brutish and horrific, yet there exist against women that are not as widely recognized as violations of human rights.
Okin (1999) argues that promoting women’s...

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