• Kakoli Nath

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE OF GENDER JUSTICE


"Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are"

                                                     - Benjamin Franklin, Writer

INTRODUCTION


Every day, in every country, gender justices are always triggered as discriminatory. Witnessing situations like violence, exploitation and unequal treatment either at work, at the home place or any such other vast communities. Women form the majority of those battling with gender injustices. As compared to men, women see themselves in the hub of less power.


Inequality emerges through the fact of women's ethnicity, religion, race and age, and another fundamentalism. For over thirty years, the recognition of women's human rights has been a focus of international activism. To combat the tolerance of myriad violence against women, where campaigns were also organized for the successful dilemma of women on the international stage.



WHAT IS GENDER JUSTICE?



Gender justice is defined as a human right, which exemplifies that every woman is privileged to live her life without any fear but, with peace, harmony, dignity and freedom. Gender Justice is a crucial perimeter of poverty reduction and also significant in achieving human progress.



GENDER JUSTICE: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE



Civilized society has always been with an agenda of respect towards human rights and considers it as a basic condition for the survival of human beings. The United Nations for human rights define human rights as "those rights that are inherent in our nature and without which we cannot live as human beings." Such rights relate to equality, liberty and life of a person, with equal protection under the law, free from all forms of discrimination, etc. Human rights have raised empowerment in every individual. The American Independence Movement of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789 were inspired by the ideas of natural rights and both movements were sought to challenge governments that curtailed the natural rights of the people.



It was during the French Revolution in 1789 that natural rights were elevated to the status of legal rights with the formulation of the 'Declaration of Rights of Man'. Another bill that has also incorporated human rights is The American Bill of Rights' in 1791.



The above conception of natural rights was deployed in several political and social movements through the nineteenth century. The league of nations in 1991 faced criticism. Its failure to promote peace was evident with the outbreak of World War II, resulting in its dissolution in 1946. 'The International Labour Organization' (ILO) established in 1919 sought to promote social justice. In 1946, ILO became the first specialized agency in the United Nations. However, it happened the only aftermath of the Second World War, when the importance to acknowledge and safeguard human rights were articulated at the global level in the form of the 'Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948'.



INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT



The objective of gender justice at the international outlet is "to emphasize gender equality in all spheres of life, including family and community life, and to facilitate and enable men to take responsibility for their sexual behavior and family roles."



Development as a whole, embedded in a long history of colonialism and imperialism, which came into existence, to gauge out the West from the ‘underdeveloped’ in the sudden consequence of the Second World War. An Earth Summit, basically the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) carried at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, entailed gender issues in Agenda 21. The World Conference on Human Rights, held at Vienna in the year 1993, also made notable progress initiating the rights of women and girl-children as a fundamental and indivisible part of universal human rights. This principle was furthermore adopted up by the International Conference on Population and Development, held at Cairo in 1994. Discussions and debates focused on gender issues, stressing the empowerment of women for equitable development. The World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen in 1995, took gender equity as the enormous strategy for economic, social development and environmental protection. The Fourth World Conference on Women, which was held in Beijing, 1995, incarnates the prestige of composing an agenda to bolster the status of women and proclaiming an action, alleging to overcome the barriers to gender equity and guaranteeing women's active participation in all spheres of life.



GENDER DEVELOPMENT: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE



A formalized attempt to establish principles of gender justice has been found in the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 1999 which makes the absence of gender discrimination as the indicator of gender justice. CEDAW's 'discrimination against women' in Article 1 of the Convention.

The policymakers behaved as cautious in vital aspects of gender functions and the explicit needs of men and women. When the development policies are to be sustainable, the consideration must be given to existing gender discrepancies in poverty, employment, health and decision-making bodies.



· Poverty

Researches have revealed an improvement in feminized poverty. The poverty line has boosted between the years 1970 and 1980, with fewer women living as compared to men. Poverty, simply interpreted as a dearth of sufficient resources to ensure sustainable living conditions. It often gets on with hunger, poor health, nourishment, meager education, and unhealthy housing. A vital reason for the endurance of female poverty is gender vulnerability within the homes. Where poor families find it difficult to afford education for their girl children and engage them in the household activity.



· Education

While Vouching for the country's lower literacy rate, where women are found to be more illiterate than men in figures. Crucial illiteracy rates originate from rural areas of the country. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimated that only 41 percent of women in developing countries are illiterate, as compared to men.



· Family life

Some conceptions have formulated differences between female and male-headed households carrying on how to run a family; raising children; and nutrition. Ironically, whosoever confronts the responsibility of family income is regarded as the spirit of the household. Which ultimately makes men supreme, in becoming the head of the family. Despite the truth, that women are equally employed and eligible to be head of the family.



· Health and nutrition

Contemplating biological means, men and women, both have different health necessities. Gender which is apt to be in danger to evolve as a victim of alcohol, accidents at work, smoking, are men. It has been reviewed, that in Europe, North America and some countries of Latin America where, women's life expectancy is vastly greater than men's. The prominent outbreak in gender discrepancies among kids is predicted to be through social constraints and lack of resources in terms of nutrition and mortality. The opposite sexes never attain equal attention and care.



International Conventions on Gender Justice

The International Conventions are declared to be the bill of rights for women and interpret gender equality work. Some renowned conventions are mentioned below:



The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, not a treaty in itself but defines ‘fundamental freedoms’.(Article 16).



1. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 ( Article 3, Article 23).

2. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 (Article 7).

3. The Declaration on Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993 (Article 14).

4. Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (Article 1, 11(1), 22, 24).



Agenda for Gender Justice



Strategically, some designed ways shall be deemed to be made, in order to attain an adequate level of living standards, health/nutrition, and eradicate poverty among women belonging from rural areas, so that they can obtain sustainable development.

Some objectives are:

1. Introducing some policies and projects that would improve rural women's standard and put possible control over excessive use of resources;

2. Strengthen the revenue of a rural woman with factual opportunities, the practice of education and some lucrative agricultural livelihoods;

3. Facilitate awareness and encourage the participation of women in local and national regulatory bodies.

-SUBMITTED BY-

Astha Sharma

Advocate

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