Unveiling Injustice: A Cry for Equality on Human Rights Day

Unveiling Injustice: A Cry for Equality on Human Rights Day

On this Human Rights Day, we find ourselves at a pivotal juncture, faced with ever-mounting geopolitical crises and devastating challenges to women’s rights. Amid this formidable moment, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) celebrates its 75th anniversary. This anniversary must serve not only as a beacon of hope in the face of adversity, but a call to action, reminding us that we must strive for equality and lasting change.


Drafted in 1948 by a UN commission chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, the UDHR set out to define and protect fundamental human rights. 75 years later, women and girls are still being denied those rights. While many countries have repealed laws that discriminate against women and guarantee sex equality, often these laws are lacking in implementation. And some countries are moving backwards, instituting discriminatory laws that strip women of their basic rights. In Afghanistan, women are denied their rights to education, employment, and freedom of movement. Our Afghan partner struggles to continue to support Afghan women and girls as they are no longer allowed to call themselves a women’s organization. And here in the United States, women are still fighting for the Equal Rights Amendment, a constitutional prohibition against sex discrimination that is commonly found in most other countries around the world. Amidst these challenges, a concerning global trend emerges – a backward trajectory in the women's rights movement. There is a growing shift towards patriarchal conservative fundamentalism as governments move to roll back progressive laws like in the Gambia, where our partner GAMCOTRAP is struggling to protect the anti-fgm laws now being challenged or the newly elected Argentinian president who promises to take a hard line on women’s issues.
This global struggle for women's rights is mirrored in the ongoing conflicts where state and non-state actors employ heinous acts of sexual violence, weaponizing rape as a tool of war and strategic maneuvering. These reprehensible tactics seek to annihilate women who bear the brunt of conflict-related sexual violence, as well as their families and their communities. In all wars, women and girls suffer the most.

Now, more than ever, we call for peace. It is imperative to rally together to support the principles enshrined in the UDHR 75 years ago. We must resist regression, champion equality, and stand united against any form of discrimination or violence that undermines the rights and dignity of women and girls.


Manuela Ramos protest in Peru

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