Human Rights, International Ethics and Women
The purpose of this literature review is to explore and analyse selected texts while aiming to address the question of whether rights conventions are appropriate in international ethics. I will write this essay in a feminist perspective and reframe the question to focus specifically on whether international rights conventions are appropriate in international ethics when it comes to women. The primary issue this essay focuses upon is whether an international human rights framework can better deal with issues of injustice than the internal domestic laws and cultures of states and I assert that the latter is more appropriate when it comes to dealing with issues of injustice. I will analyse some selected discourses within the framework this issue. Feminists Hilary Charlesworth, Christine Chinkin & Shelley Wright (1991) argue that human rights are masculine and patriarchal and so in endorsing the universality of rights would be to reproduce male thinking. These authors believe that the whole conception of ‘rights’ is masculine in that it is men think in terms of rationality, rights and reason, whereas females think in terms of context and relationships (Charlesworth, Chinkin & Wright 1991). However, this line of thought is based upon their support of Carol Giligan’s model of development theory, which in itself is controversial as it ignores cross-cultural empirical realities and ignores that women too think in terms of rationality and reason. Furthermore, the conceptual ideal of rights has been contested by men in Western discourses as well as non-Western discourses. For example, when the conception of ‘natural rights’ was created, Jeremy Bentham (cited in Bedau 2000, p. 263) opposed the idea of rights stating that it was, ‘nonsense upon stilts’. In a contemporary non-Western setting former leader Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Mohathir Mohamad of Malaysia stated that there is an incompatibility with Asian values and human rights values because Asian culture values stability over public dispute and collective interests rather than individual interests (Beitz 2006). Similarly, Jack Donnelly (1998) puts forward the view that ‘human rights’ can be conceived by the non-Western states a form of hegemony in that human rights are symbolic of a new standard of civilisation. Charlesworth, Chinkin and Wright (1991) also argue that human rights do not necessarily benefit women because they are androcentric in nature. That is, they do not have rights specific to women, for example the right to reproductive freedoms. Although they criticise the universal declaration of human rights, they do however acknowledge that the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is more beneficial in terms of dealing with issues which women face. Their recommendation is that the international legal framework should develop a court which enforces CEDAW principles onto member states which have signed and ratified the convention. One of the issues with this recommendation is that there is the problem of enforcing such principles onto CEDAW states which have ratified the convention with attached reservations. For example, Saudi Arabia has ratified CEDAW with the reservation that, ‘In case of contradiction between any term of the Convention and the norms of Islamic law, the Kingdom is not under obligation to observe the contradictory terms of the Convention’ (United Nations 2000-2009). This issue deals with one of the central debates regarding the justification of human rights, which is moral universalism versus cultural relativism. Given that human rights claim to apply equally to all human beings everywhere without distinction of race, gender, religion and so fourth implies an underlying universality in its expressed principles. During the World Human Rights conference in 1993, the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action stated with regard to human rights that, ‘the...
Your presenter today:
Major Attila Kulcsár
Hungarian National Police Human Resource Management Service Education Management and Training Departmert
UNTAC Cambodia 1992-93 MINURSO West-sahara 1995-96 UNMIBH BIH RS 1997-98 UNMIBH BIH FED 1999-00 EUPOL Proxima MK 2004-05 OSCE Mission to Skopje 2008-12
What is the first word that comes up your mind in connection with HUMANRIGHTS?
HUMANRIGHTS are the rights that all people have by virtue of being human beings. HUMANRIGHTS are derived from the inherent dignity of the human being and are defined internationally, nationally and locally by various law making bodies.
HUMANRIGHTS is defined as the supreme,
inherent, and inalienable rights to life, to dignity, and to self-development. It is concerned with issues in both areas of civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights founded on internationally accepted humanrights obligations
HUMANRIGHTSRIGHTS – moral power to hold (rights to life, nationality, own property, rest and leisure), to do...
Women’s RightsWomen have suffered throughout history. Angelina Grimke, Sarah Grimke, Catherine Beecher and Margaret Fuller wrote letters to express the importance of women’s rights. Often comparing women’s rights to slavery, each letter stressed the importance of equal rights for all. I never knew women were oppressed that badly. The letters these women wrote were based on moralrights, observation of injustice, and suppression in society. Each letter written expanded my knowledge on women’s rights. Although each wrote letters, the effectiveness of the writer’s point of view made some essays more effective at proving their point than others. Throughout this paper I will summarize, compare and contrast, and analyze each letter written to determine which paper effectively persuaded their reader.
Angelina Grimke wrote “HumanRights Not Founded on Sex, Letter to Catharine Beecher” in 1837 to express the need for recognition for women’s rights. Grimke’s essay talks about humanrights, which she relates to slavery. She related women’s rights and slavery by their moral rights, or moral nature she also described it, and how all men have moral nature so therefore all men have rights, “When I look at human beings as moral...
...Equal HumanRights for Women
University of Central Florida
SOW 3203 0002 – Social Work & Community Resources
Fall 2012 - Monday 6:30-9:20
This paper explores humanrights issues as it relates to women; the right to work; the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to be treated equally, the right to autonomy,
and the violations of basic humanrights. I will reflect on how the issue of equality for women
is addressed nationally and globally. In discussing humanrights related to women’s issues of social injustice by industrial and global exploitation, I explore ways in which social workers commit to equality and what current attitudes may need to be refined. I discuss how global exploitation continues to oppress and stigmatize females. This paper also examines barriers to change and how empowering women can raise their understanding of humanrights and the process of change.
In July of 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, based on the Declaration of Independence statement on equal rights for all, The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions demanded the equality of men and women in several issues including the right...
...An evaluation of the responsibility the international community
has a responsibility to protect citizens against the gross humanrights abuses of their states.
Juliette Lovius, Dip Teach, MA HumanRights
Curtin University, Western Australia, June, 2013
Since ancient times, human beings have been in conflict with one another.
Those in authority have the power and opportunity to oppress people from within
their nation. The question of states coming to the aid of another state’s citizens
suffering under oppression is an old one. Voices in the early fifth century, such
as that of St Augustine of Hippo (Holt, 2005) were acknowledging the
complexities of war and the plight of the innocent victims of state-led violence.
Even in those ancient times, as it is today, it is clear that from a basic moral
perspective that the international community has a strong responsibility to act to
protect citizens against the gross humanrights abuses of their states. Refusing
to intervene and turning a blind eye and doing nothing in the face of crimes such
as genocide is incomprehensible, inhuman and immoral. Although the
outworking of humanitarian intervention is a complex and politically heated
issue, the responsibility to act is unequivocally clear. In this essay, I will argue
that states exist in an international community in a variety of ways and, as...
...HRV1601: HumanRights, Values and Social Transformation
Semester 01/ Assignment 01
The Historical Background and Development of HumanRights
Table of Contents
2) The Development of HumanRights
3) Historical Documents of HumanRights
3.1) The English Bill ofRights (1689)
3.2) The American War of Independence (1775-1783)
4) Developing and Maintaining a HumanRights Culture in South Africa
5) The South African Constitution
6) The South African Bill of Rights
A right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all human beings from the moment of birth. According to Ndungane (as stated in Slater 2010:19), “A humanright is a right that a human person has simply by virtue of being a human person, irrespective of his or her social status, cultural accomplishments, moral merits, religious beliefs, class membership or cultural relationships”. Basic humanrights are not earned or deserved, and should not be considered a privilege, but an imperative implement for the well-being and peacefulness of mankind. This...
...The Creation of the
Universal Declaration of HumanRights
Though humanrights as a whole (or for most of history, the idea of humanrights) have been present since the beginnings of civilization, its prevalence as a “normal” and “obvious” component of international relations did not emerge until much recently, with the ratification of the Universal Declaration of HumanRights (UDHR) in 1948. The Universal Declaration of HumanRights was created by the United Nations in order for all people in all nations to recognize each individual’s humanity, and the equal rights that are given to them on the basis of that humanity. As the UDHR’s preamble articulates, the Document aims for the “recognition of inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family”, grounded by the “foundation of freedom, justice, and peace”. 1 In other words, no human is excluded from possession of humanrights; regardless of age, sex, gender, ethnicity, religion, or class, so long as one is a member of the human race, they are inherently entitled to the rights listed in the UDHR.
Today, the UDHR, legitimized by the United Nations in 1948, is widely regarded as one of the most important documents of the...
...Are humanrights innate and universal?
Post WWII on the 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of HumanRights (UDHR) was espoused by the General Assembly of the United Nations in order to agree on the notion that such atrocities that occurred throughout the Great War and the Second World War would not ever be reciprocated. The document that was drawn up in less than two years by the UN and Western states, and although ambitious it would guarantee a premise for life and living for every individual all over the world. The UDHR are founded on nobility, equality and reverence, and are said to be aimed at all cultures and religions within the West and East of the globe. However there is great discrepancy regarding the justification and practicality of humanrights all over the world due to political, economic and cultural differences and limitations. Universal means that ‘something’ affects, applies or is completed by everyone all over the world – there is no distinctive bias shown and equal policies are applied. Innate, in relation to humanrights, means that people are given natural rights purely based on the fact that he/she is human and alive. Therefore, are humanrights universal and innate or is the Universal Declaration of Human...
...exterminated by Hitler’s Nazi regime, the Universal Declaration of HumanRights was adopted and proclaimed on December 10th 1948 to prevent a another holocaust and to achieve a universal standard of humanrights. Over the last sixty years various regional and international treaties and conventions have been adopted to protect and advance humanrights towards universality. Furthermore, it equally important to mention that there has been a western dominated movement to universalise humanrights. Nevertheless, Universal Human remains a contentious issue of debate among intellectual and policy circles. The purpose of this essay is to outline a few of the prominent issues and problems that are associated with the concept of Universal humanrights.
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” (UDHR. 1948. P.2) Humanrights in its contemporary perception is a fairly recent concept. In fact the Universal Declaration of HumanRights which is often cited as the corner stone of humanrights only came into force following World War II and the most “systematic and blatant” violation of humanrights in record history that was the Holocaust...