Women’s Rights in the United Nations

Human rights are one of the necessities that women, as part of society, require in order to be fully functioning individuals. Lack of implementation of such rights in its totality may have serious implications not only for the individual but also for the society in general. The greatest challenge for women’s rights policies implementation is that the concept of such rights has been politicized in international bodies like the United Nations. In her work, Analyzing Politics: An Introduction to Political Science, Grigsby has highlighted many issues that surround the rights of women in society. For instance, she has quoted the case of Kuwait where women have been deprived of many rights for a long time until recently that they have been allowed to participate in voting in parliamentary elections. She sees society as changing. In line with such changes, politics also change to the extent that the society-based issues are handled as international matters. This paper looks at the involvement of politics in issues regarding the rights of women in the modern society. Grigsby’s work will be used as a platform to provide the basic contemporary ideas on how the modern politics affect the full implementation of the rights of women in United Nations.

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Politics involve the authority or the government making different decisions. The decision of the authority marks the successful living of the people. Politics, according to Grigsby, involve the practice of making rules that govern everyone. People in the contemporary society do not allow themselves to view things as if they were in a different setup, such as gender, society, race, situation among other things. The way people perceive politics can be influenced by many factors. They are the factors that have hindered successful implementation of women’s rights.

Through experiences, people can be able to view the rights of women from different platforms. Grigsby gives an example of Mr. Yamaguchi who survived atomic bombs in the towns of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. According to him, the only people who should be allowed the power to authorize the use of nuclear bombs should be mothers with young children. Diversity feminists claim that issues regarding women vary across cultures and also internationally. Women also participate in making changes in the society. For example, in India, after Mahatma Gandhi advocated for national independence for women in India, they were able to play active roles in independence struggle through women’s organizations. They donated things like jewelry and money.

Diversity feminism also argues that in many developing countries there are several impediments to women development. Some of them include poverty and illiteracy. Plato addresses the same issue that feminists regarding gender equality. For instance, enlightenment in the allegory of the cave can be equated to embracing gender equality in the contemporary society. States should create laws that eliminate discrimination based on sex. Women are usually oppressed by men partly because they love them. Such innate love prevalent in women prevents them from demanding for respect and equality. Grigsby also asserts that if there is equality between husbands and wives, women are likely to make better wives and mothers. She reiterates the fact that women should not be discriminated against the privileges enjoyed by men. Such freedoms include: rights to education, career growth and economic advancement.

Women should be free to enter and enjoy success associated with the mainstream society. Women are usually accorded low status in the society as evidenced by the low wages they are paid. At the same time, they are expected to depend on their men for support. The barriers that are placed to women and that tend to prevent them from realizing similar goals as those of men should be identified and removed. It will make women achieve economic success that is equal to the men’s one. One of the reasons why females are vulnerable to exploitation is because they are paid low wages.

The founding charter of the United Nations stressed on the importance of respecting and promoting the rights of everyone regardless of their situation, race, sex among other differences. The United Nations is the principal global body that has constantly championed the rights of women in the society. In championing the rights of women, the organization has continued to give particular attention to violence against women. In launching a global campaign opposing violence against women, Ban Ki-moon said that the issue could not wait to be dealt with (“United Nations”). In many parts of the world, women suffer much in terms of being marginalized and disempowered. The condition is caused by social, cultural, economic and environmental factors. It has, however, been established that the most endangered gender are women, especially when there is war or lack of peace in the society. Vulnerable groups are usually created when there are disasters. Women and children are the largest groups to be affected. To a great extent, women suffer greatly in times of crises partly due to the insufficient resources.

Although pledges are made to incorporate women in the mainstream reconciliation processes, very few plans have been actualized. The United Nations have recognized the importance of women participation in reconstruction efforts due to the discrepancies that they face in post-conflict conditions. The comprehensive department created in the United Nations, referred to as the UN Women, has been purposely created to address the holistic challenges and issues that women face. There are special plans within the United Nations system that addresses the basic needs of women, such as provision of food, shelter and clothing. In addition, it also recognizes that there are other needs over and above the basic ones. For instance, girls and women require protection against sexual discrimination, manipulation, education about HIV/AIDS, delivery of goods and services among others. UNICEF, UNDP, ECOSOC among other agencies seeks to deal with women issues. Some of the issues that are addressed include long-term empowerment for women and equality for them at the lowest levels. The United Nations has made it clear that violence against women is a violation of human rights. There are recommendations, guidelines and declarations that address the rights of girls and women. They have outlined the work that the governments play in addressing such issues (“The Advocates for Human Rights”).

The United Nations has also tried to advance women rights through the creation of norms relating to gender equality in all the regions of the world. To discourage practices that demean women and their rights, laws and prosecution of gender-based crimes are implemented to those who violate such rights. Although the United Nations has been on the forefront to advance equality among the males and females in the society, there have been cases of their officials being accused of exploitation and sexual abuse. Furthermore, the system has been accused of mishandling the allegations of sexual harassment. There are also internal policies that adversely affect the implementation of the rights of women within the United Nation’s structure. Women are underrepresented in the United Nations decision-making organ.

According to the Beijing conference held in 1995, United Nations aimed at making the achievement of the rights of women real in both law and practice. One of the major factors that were identified was that domestic violence by then was a worldwide challenge and required addressing. In contrast, the Beijing declaration, although followed by the resolutions of the General Assembly, is not binding. Non-discrimination and equality are the overriding themes in the United Nations and can be heavily linked to protecting women in all ways possible. The Human rights law in the United Nations endeavors to protect the rights of women because it guards them against discrimination on the basis of gender.

The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) developed the comprehensive measures that would assist in eliminating all possible forms of discrimination against women. Such practices endeavored to be strengthened include human rights and fundamental freedom in social, political, economic, civil, cultural spheres among other. All nations are required to incorporate all the regulations in their constitutions as a joint effort of affirming the rights of women in the society. However, there are certain disadvantages of such aspiration. Some of the regions of the world hold reservations that prevent the realization of such dreams. The reservations are held on the basis of culture, religion, economics and tradition.

Although most of such exclusions are accepted by the United Nations, they have worked to weaken the universal implementation of the treaty on equality. There are also rationales presented that oppose the championing of equality between men and women. The opponents of the treaty argue that the people who designed the equality treaty do not see the rationale behind the inequality between males and females. Due to the biological differences associated with both men and women, equality would seem difficult to attain. To a certain extent, what should be advocated for is gender equity.

The society has been emphasizing on a male-centered approach to human rights so that little attention has been given to the rights related to women. Most state authorities drew a distinction between the public and the private life. Little consideration has been given to the social life of the people that they govern. What is most striking in the previous and even the contemporary society is that the suffering of women and the practices that deny them their human rights always stem from their private spheres of life. The international level acts like a magnified typical society where such challenges, related to the assumption of women’s human rights, are still present. Although the United Nations has purported to assist in implementing mechanisms that assist the women in realizing their human rights, much is still desired to be achieved. Women’s human rights have been consistently violated and continue to be violated even in the current society because the societal systems do not coordinate with the international bodies in reducing the menace.

The United Nations has adopted a campaign under the supervision of UNiTE that will be prepared to 2015. Its major aim is to mobilize and sensitize the public on addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. Some of the methods it planned to use are through amendment of the existing law, punishing all forms of violence against women and involving women in peacemaking activities. In addition, through carrying out research on the prevalence of violence against women, they will be able to understand the extent to which the vice of violence is entrenched in the society. One of the greatest achievements that the United Nations has achieved is setting aside significant amount of resources that will be used in the awareness campaign against violence in women.

One of the reasons that would explain why women working in the United Nations are not given chances of addressing their issues as they emerge in different areas of the world is that there exists a gap within the United Nations system that prevents women from realizing their potentials. It is very difficult for women to be promoted into topmost positions within the system. Males are seen as appropriate people in the leading positions within systems because they may sacrifice much time for work as opposed to the sacrifice that women would do. Women may receive much criticism from diverse sources if they leave their families and accept the promotion.

Women are the most endangered gender in the society. They are known to suffer more in places where human rights are violated. It has been recognized that even in societies that are known to adhere to the rights of human beings, women are still subjected to intolerable inhumane acts. Although the international bodies, such as the United Nations, have issued protocols that would assist in the fight against any possible discrimination against women. However, the provisions made are not properly interpreted and there are many existing discrepancies. One of the loopholes is the lack of supervisory mechanisms to determine whether the policies are implemented or not. Women do not enjoy to the full their human rights as outlined by the United Nations to some extant because politics plays a significant role in determining the position of women in society.

In general, there is a great progress that has been made regarding the rights of women in modern society. For instance, the establishment of CEDAW and ICCPR has greatly assisted in providing for equality and non-discrimination of women. Much development regarding women rights has been witnessed around the globe. However, several loopholes have been detected in the United Nations system and they tend to make the whole process fail in its objectives. For instance, the United Nations’ failure to deal with its officers who engage in sexual harassment activities and failure to give women opportunities to serve in topmost jobs among others. The greatest challenge is also evident where the United Nations allows parts of the world to continue practicing gender-based discriminatory activities under the guise of culture, religion, economic and social factors. Lack of political will by the member states and the assumptions that are made regarding the rights of women greatly hamper the realization of such dreams.

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