Women's Rights
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Women's Rights

The fight for womenÂ’s rights has been documented throughout history to the present day. Women worldwide still fight for their rights, in spite of the common misconception that the issue does not exist. There has been an increase in the discrimination of women in the areas of education, health, employment and nationality.

Women’s Rights

The fight for women’s rights has been documented throughout history, beginning with the signing of the Declaration of Sentiments in 1848, which outlined the grievances which women had forwarded on the issue of equal treatment of both men and women when it came to voting. However, the movement grew to encompass a wider scope to ensure that women received equal treatment, devoid of discrimination based on sex. Centuries after the signing of the Declaration of Sentiments, women worldwide still fight for their rights, in spite of the common misconception that the issue does not exist.

Due to the increasing popularity of the movement as well as having the majority of legitimate states rectifying legislation and passing bills in order to take care of the woman’s grievances, the issue of women’s rights has moved to the back of the international debates. There has been notable and positive progress with the movement and many women now hold prestigious positions of power in many societies worldwide. For example, Gertrude Mongella was elected to be the Secretary General, in 1995, for the World Conference of Women, which shows a great improvement for a continent which had otherwise held onto a patriarchal system on all aspects of life.

Most notably are the improvements made by New Zealand concerning the education on the rights of women by introducing the domestic violence prevention programs put in place in public schools as well as having a notable 30% of all parliamentary seats being occupied by women.  Furthermore, the country is also said to have very “forward looking” laws on the division of property after divorce.

 However, this kind of progress has not been felt, especially in countries where religion is also law. In most Islamic states, women are often considered to be discriminated against solely because of the imposition of shari’a law, which is the Islamic law based on the Quran, thus igniting the agitation for reform and a wider movement for freedom. Despite the agitation for reforms on the women rights arena, the laws set in place by the very shari’a law finds many of the agitators to be going against the law and numerous individuals are usually charged with insulting the foundations and sanctity of Islam and are usually subjected to harsh penalties.

Furthermore, despite the common legislation in numerous states, which arose from the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, many women still are unable to attain equal opportunities with many documented cases of women unable to inherit or own property, being subjected to female genital mutilations as well as early marriage according to cultural traditions in many developing countries.

In addition, a recent report published by the United Nations showed an increase in the discrimination of women in the areas of education, health, employment and nationality. The key issues reported by the UN were those pertaining to the increase of sexual violence and exploitation of women. For example, in Slovakia, there was an increase in the number of women who were trafficked for sexual purposes as well as a report on how unemployment was higher among women, who also receive less pay than men for the same work or position held, within the country.

In conclusion, many women around the world still face some form of discrimination during their daily live, more so, in developing countries. Despite the many advances made by the movements for the rights and liberation of women worldwide, issues such as state legislation based on religious doctrine have proven to be a hindrance to the movements on political, economic and social life of many women in Islamic states. It is therefore imperative that the debate not slip from people’s minds until each and every woman worldwide has attained their rights wholly.

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Comments (1)

very informative.