Gender Equality Agenda And Women Rights Human Rights 100 Years On
by Paul I. Adujie[email protected]
New York, United States
Rights Are Human Rights. This is so simple and self-evident, and yet,
it is not what is practiced worldwide
Worldwide, women continue to suffer disproportionately from abuses
and denials of basic human rights, sadly so.
disproportionately more than the rest of the world’s population, whether
at a time of peace or at time of war. In essence, women suffer, in
peace time and at war times. Women suffer from physical-mental abuses
and brutalities, horrors and displacements and dislocations at times of
war and social upheavals, as well as denial and deprivations of economic
and political powers and opportunities at times of peace. Even at
earthquake aftermaths as well. Women disproportionately suffer
worldwide, relatively and comparatively, women suffer more
Women are frequently denied the opportunities to be allocators and
managers of resources. Women are too often denied opportunities to be
facilitators and accelerators of human development. This is because,
women worldwide have had the odds stacked against them in matters of
access to political and economic power. Women have been perennially
denied formal education and skills acquisition opportunities, compared
to men worldwide.
The position and condition of women in the world is rather illogical
and counter intuitive, given the super-majority of female versus male
population worldwide. Any business entity or enterprise and corporation
or firm which aspires for profitability, cannot and should not disregard
the contribution through productivity and profits, the potentials of
more than half its workforce.
Sadly however, the contributions through productivity and profits of
women, which constitutes more than half the world population are
frequently disregarded and discounted by a majority of governments on
Since 1910 when women gathered in Copenhagen to hold a Conference on
Women, in an effort to discuss the plight and predicament worldwide,
there have been some incremental steps to elevate women and issues which
affect women human rights more particularly, due to gender. And even
now, gender equality is still aspirational.
Since the epochal events of 1910 and 1911, Women Day has been
celebrated annually and this 2010 is the 100 years of attempts to bring
focus and needful attention to human issues with particular impacts and
effects on women worldwide. After these 100 years, the world is still
far from gender-neutral or fair and balanced for women
The month of March is celebrated as Women Month every year in most
countries and the March 8th 2010 will be marked by the United Nations in
New York City as International Women Day.
The Secretary of State
for the United States, Mrs. Hilary Rodham Clinton, has selected several
foreign women for recognition and awards, for their efforts in
advancing the rights of women in their home countries. The State
Department under Mrs. Clinton as Secretary of State has been vehement in
rejecting the oppression of women, discrimination against women and
brutalities and horrors, including rapes, which are too frequently
directed against women.
I commend Mrs. Clinton and her Department for these efforts. But, it
is rather troubling to note that most of the women in Mrs. Clinton’s
award list are from nations which the United States consider hostile or
unfriendly, such as Iran, North Korea and Zimbabwe etc. And without
diminishing the accomplishments of the women on Mrs. Clinton’s list, the
nations from which some of these women were selected, are just too
conveniently on the front-burner of US criticisms!
This, even though, women face inequalities, oppressions,
discrimination and gender motivated injustices in so many nations, such
as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait etc nations with which the United
States have excellent diplomatic and trade-business relationships, and
yet, the US have not used such relationships to encourage, nudge or even
pressure Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive cars, vote and be voted
for at elections! Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait etc with very cozy-warm
and fuzzy relationship with the US and yet, they have nothing near
acceptable record on gender equality agenda or women human rights or any
pretension to democracy! But the US continues to embrace them and do
business with them. The emphasis being on “doing business”
strange-bedfellows we will be right in describing these sorts of
expediencies, shortsighted policies, US with Arabia Kuwait?
On the other hand, it is public knowledge or an open secret, the
fact the US and Iran and North Korea have had unending debate and verbal
diplomatic scuffle over right to nuclear energy and weapons which are
apparently sought, pursued and being attained by Iran and North Korea,
while the US remain stridently opposed to possession of nuclear
capability by both Iran and North Korea.
It wondered aloud therefore, whether Mrs. Clinton is employing and
co-opting women issues as a tool of pressure against the usual
‘suspects’? In essence, women issues and gender equality agenda, as
lofty and commendable as they are, have become another weapon in the
arsenals of pressures by the US against nations the US consider
unfriendly and in pursuit of policies to which the US is vehemently
opposed and wishes to upturn, subvert and defeat? Is Mrs. Clinton mixing
gender equality agenda with current US foreign policy which target
hostile actions directed at Iran and North Korea?
We may not compare “regime-change” to “gender equality agenda” but,
one wonders why women issues in say, Iran, North Korea and Zimbabwe,
receives more attention or singular attention, in comparison to the
equally abysmal and dismal plights and predicaments of womenfolk in
Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait, just to name a few. Is the lot of women
in Vietnam actually better than those of North Korean counterpart? Are
the conditions and lives of women in Pakistan much better than the women
neighbor counterparts in Afghanistan and China? I think not! Mrs.
Clinton is acting with one hand, and I, in turn, must clap for her with
one hand; and clearly, such will be ineffective on her part and mine,
acts or claps with both hands are more effective, human.
Battles against gender inequalities and injustices must be engaged
in by all and with both hands in view of the fact that gender
inequalities, injustices and disparities occurs worldwide 24/7
hours-days and 365 366 days of the year. Ad-hoc, knee jerk and episodic
or selective application of the rules will not do!
I take the view that the plights, predicaments and conditions of
women worldwide are not acceptable and should and must change. There
should be honest and universal standard, albeit, with minor variations
in view of some peculiar local circumstances. The activism, the advocacy
and vigorous pursuit of human rights for women, should not be beclouded
by the very narrow and parochial expediencies of particular nations, in
denigration to the interests of other nations, and for that matter, the
very human rights for women which should be the front and center of
gender equality agenda campaigns. The continuing precarious conditions
of women worldwide, which is lopsided in comparison with the conditions
of men worldwide, must be frontally addressed employing holistic
approach and universal or global standard in defining and solving
challenges which women worldwide still face.
Please Google other Gender Equality Agenda Essays by the same
author are as follows:
1. What Is True Democracy In The World
With Women Excluded?
2. Infertility Is
Always Women s Fault?
November 30 2004
3. Gender Equality Agenda &
May 02 2006
4. Women Public
Toilets and Gender Equality Agenda