Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Five Milestones for Women's Rights we could achieve

Five Milestones For Women’s Rights We Should Achieve In 2015
This year will see the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in September 1995 in Beijing, which produced a blueprint for advancing women’s rights.  20 years on, what  still needs to be done for women?
The Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace was the name given for a conference convened by the United Nations 4–15 September 1995 in Beijing, China. The founding United Nations charter (1945) included a provision for equality between men and women (chapter III, article 8). Subsequently, from 1945 to 1975 various female officials within the United Nations and leaders of women’s movements on the global stage attempted to turn these principles into action. The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution (resolution 3010) that 1975 should be International Women’s Year. In December 1975, the UN General Assembly passed a further resolution (resolution 31/136) that 1976-1985 should be the “Decade of Women”. Delegates had prepared a Declaration and Platform for Action aimed at achieving greater equality and opportunity for women.
Women’s rights are the foundation for strong economies and fair societies.
Despite remarkable advances globally, there is much more to be done to achieve economic and social equality for women.
1. Substantive equality for women
Laws that guarantee equality are not enough on their own to achieve equal outcome for women and girls. To transform societies, laws and policies must reduce women’s poverty and disadvantage. combat stigma, stereotyping and violence against women and ensure that women’s voices are heard in decision making.Substantive equality recognizes that policies and practices put in place to suit everyone may appear to be non-discriminatory, but may not address the specific needs of certain groups of people.  In effect they are indirectly discriminatory.
2. Women and Work
More women have jobs than ever before, but too often they are low paid and insecure with poor conditions.
Women work longer hours, because as well as jobs outside the home, they still do the lion’s share of unpaid domestic and care work. Across the board, women earn less than men for work of equal value.
Policies must create good quality jobs and remove the barriers to women’s employment, so they can earn enough for a decent standard of living, combine paid and unpaid work more equally with men, and have time for rest and leisure.
Women’s labour-force participation has increased in Latin America and the Caribbean, but large gender gaps persist.
http://progress2015.org/img/ch2_g1_v3.png
Labor force participation rate (%) for men and women aged 25-54 in Latin America and the Caribbean Source: http://progress2015.org/#chapter2
 3.  Social policies
Social policies must be designed with women’s rights in mind.
Social transfer systems, including pensions, unemployment and child benefits, as well as health, care, and water and sanitation services are needed to realize women’s right to an adequate standard of living.
To ensure women don’t live in poverty, social transfer systems must take into account women’s lower earnings and time spent caring for children and other family members. High quality social services, such as water and sanitation can help to reduce women’s unpaid work burdens.
Social transfers reduce gender gaps in personal income, but across all countries women’s incomes are still much lower than men’s.
Women’s personal income as a percentage of men’s Source:http://progress2015.org/#chapter3
Extending water services to households would benefit women and girls, who still do most of the work to collect water.
http://progress2015.org/img/ch3_g2.png
Distribution of water collection burden in sub-Saharan Africa (percentage of households without piped water) Source:http://progress2015.org/#chapter3
4. Macroeconomic policies 
Without women’s unpaid domestic and care work, the economy would grind to a halt.
Yet, the unpaid economy is rarely taken into account in economic policy making. Macroeconomic policies should create an enabling environment for the realization of human rights and gender equality.
The focus must be on recognizing women’s unpaid domestic and care work, generating good quality jobs, and maximizing the resources available to pay for social transfers and social services.
http://progress2015.org/img/ch4_g1_v7.png
The importance of unpaid care work to the US economy. Source:http://progress2015.org/#chapter4
5. Freedom of Movement
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) all people are entitled to the recognition of inherent dignity and certain inalienable rights, which are the “foundations of freedom and justice in the world.” Freedom of movement is part of the “liberty of man” (Jagerskiold) thus making it one of the most basic human rights. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates:
‘Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country.’
The Human Rights Council adopted a general comment dealing specifically with Article 3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states the equality of rights between men and women. This comment states in Section 16 that states parties should provide any information on any legal practice or provision which restricts women’s freedom of movement such as: the exercise of marital powers over ones wife and children or the issuance of travel documents to women. Subsequently, this comment calls for governments to repeal such laws giving women the same rights as men.
Source: Human Rights Committee, General Comment 28, Equality of rights between men and women (article 3), U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.10 (2000)

Source: http://internationalpoliticalforum.com/five-milestones-for-womens-rights-we-should-achieve-in-2015/

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