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Violence without Borders: paradigm, praxis, policy concerning violence against women



women's human rights
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... The tendency is to sympathize with the victims of gender-based violence, as victims, but not to fully comprehend and address the structural reasons for that violence. (For an overview of violence against women and the UN in the past 20 years, see Ertürk 2016.) For example, women"s human rights defenders are often attacked and targeted not only for their human rights work but also for stepping outside their traditional roles as women and being visible as leaders in public arenas (see Lajoie 2019). ...
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“Women’s Rights as Human Rights: Toward a Re-Vision of Human Rights,” by Charlotte Bunch (published in Human Rights Quarterly in 1990), is considered a classic text in the field of women’s human rights. In it, Bunch set out her arguments about the importance of connecting women’s rights to human rights in theory and practice and what prevented recognition of women’s rights as human rights. This chapter revisits Bunch’s 1990 article to explore continuity and change in how gender and women’s human rights are viewed 25 years after the UN World Conference on Human Rights (Vienna 1993) declared that “the human rights of women … are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights’. The chapter is organized around the responses given by Bunch to a series of questions about the continued relevance of the ideas developed in ‘Women’s Rights as Human Rights” regarding, for example, the current status of human rights as a global ethical and political vision compared to 1990; the nature of the excuses given for inaction on the human rights of women, then and now; and the extent to which the international human rights community has fulfilled its promise in 1993 to prioritize the human rights of women, especially by addressing gender-based violence.
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This article examines why the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda has been so challenging to implement and argues that the political economy of war and peace, driven by a complex network of power, is a deterrent to sustainable and gender-just peace. However, peace initiatives are not a zero-sum game. They are dialectical, offering possibilities for both regressive and transformative change. Although inclusion of women and gender concerns in current peace processes lags behind expectations, the WPS agenda has been instrumental in changing the negotiation landscape and empowering women beyond the peace table. It has also exposed the need for a paradigm shift in the understanding of peace and security that effectively responds to power asymmetries and the neo-liberal environment that shapes policy and practice. Given their marginalised positioning vis-à-vis hegemonic power structures, women stand to contribute towards this end.
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The struggle for gender equality has many facets, but one crucial aspect that is often overlooked is the role of parental policies. This refers to laws stipulating that women and men should be given time off work during and after the birth of a child. Parental policies are widely viewed as important labor rights and are enshrined under various international treaties, but the broader societal value of these policies in transforming gender dynamics and promoting equality is sometimes underappreciated.
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