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The Beijing Platform for Action emerged from the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. The Beijing +5 meeting, held in New York in summer 2000, assessed the implementation of the Platform in critical areas of concern, including human rights. The Human Rights Initiative contributes to this agenda by focusing on women’s rights. Specifically, what can human rights language and concepts achieve for women and girls at the local level? Is the human rights movement responding to local needs? Are those struggling for gender equity at the local level embracing a human rights framework? If so, why, when, and under what conditions is it successful from their perspective? Local women’s rights advocates from around the world discuss how to mediate between universal rights and conflicting cultural principles towards advancing women’s causes.
Introduction: Silence Breaking: The Women's Dimension of the Human Rights Box
Lack of resources, lack of political will, and entrenched systems of patriarchy challenge the human rights movement’s ability to protect the rights of women.
Basic Christian Communities: Reaching Women in Brazil's Popular Sectors
The Basic Christian Communities (CEBs) provide a space for discussion of patriarchy and other social justice concerns. They have helped women to reflect upon their own understandings of themselves and to bond in common cause, inspiring them to make human rights ideals a reality.
Women's Rights in the Context of Insurgency: A Report from Northeast India
India’s Northeast is under a near-constant state of emergency, with tensions frequently erupting between locals and the Indian security forces. L. Anna Pinto examines role and contribution women's rights can have in this hostile region.
The Hope of Human Rights in Combating Welfare "Reform"
Because the majority of Americans have not accepted the international human rights framework, the most effective course of action is to work with low-income families and seize opportunities for media exposure and public forums to counter harmful and discriminatory misperceptions.
Fifteen Years after the World Charter for Prostitutes' Rights
The fight for sex workers’ rights is a difficult one because few NGOs and human rights organizations understand the nature of sex work or are prepared to support the participation of sex workers in arenas where their rights are decided.
Ending Female Genital Mutilation without Human Rights: Two Approaches-Sierra Leone
It is more effective to avoid the cultural and religious rationales of FGM and instead concentrate on the associated health risks, thus creating a more comfortable atmosphere in which to discuss this highly charged issue.
Ending Female Genital Mutilation without Human Rights: Two Approaches-Egypt
FGM can be dismantled by persistent questioning. An appeal informed by an understanding of human rights, but which draws upon local cultural and religious notions of common sense, justice, and dignity is often the best way to change the cultural norms that violate them.
The "Capabilities" Advantage to Promoting Women's Human Rights
Nussbaum's "capabilities approach" clearly articulates the motivating concerns and ultimate goals of social justice, and provides a benchmark with which to measure what it means to secure certain rights.
Reflections of a Global Women's Activist
The focus of criminal justice systems on “finding the bad guy,” without a comprehensive analysis of what perpetuates abuses, often renders women as “victims.” Creating the economic, social, and political conditions that lead to the securing of rights is as important as finding the violators and seeking redress.
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