Gender Action Mainstreaming for Empowerment to Change

Women's human rights

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what are WOMEN'S human RIGHTS?

Women's Human Rights have been established by International agreements which have ensured that women are treated as 'human' and hence included covered by International Human Rights Conventions.

In particular women's human rights are specified in the international Convention on Eradication of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) adopted by the UN Assembly in 1979 to which most countries are signatories.

These rights grant to women rights which most men would take for granted as the ideal, if not the reality for many poor men, men from ethnic minorities or living under oppressive regimes.


Right 1: life, liberty, security of person

and freedom from violence and degrading treatment and freedom of movement

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Right 2: legal equality

and protection by the law including equal rights in marriage including women’s equal rights to make decisions in their family regarding property, marriage and children, property and resources.

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Right 3: own property

and freedom from deprivation of property

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Right 4: freedom of thought,

opinion and association


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RIGHT 5: right to work

freedom from exploitation and right to rest and leisure

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right to a standard of living

adequate for health and right to education including special care for mothers.
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The CEDAW agreement was adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly and entered into force in 1981.

By 2010 almost all countries had ratified CEDAW - 187 out of 193 countries. Only six had not ratified including the United States, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, and two small Pacific Island nations (Palau and Tonga).

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