Globalization, Human Rights & Security

Women make up a majority of the world’s poor; more than half of immigrants, refugees and casualties of armed conflicts; and they are often the first to feel the brunt of economic, political, environmental and humanitarian crises. At the same time, women are essential partners for promoting conflict resolution, reducing extremism and promoting post-conflict reconstruction and sustainable development. However, governments and international organizations often overlook the significant contributions and vital perspectives of women and girls, thereby undermining effective security policies and peace-building initiatives. Human rights advocates and security experts are calling for more efforts to invest in women, implement gender-sensitive laws and policies and ensure that women are included at decision-making tables. Explore the resources listed below, including Related Categories links, or use the Keyword Search for more information.

VIOLENCE FORUM: Beyond Firewood

December 19, 2008 posted by Shyama Venkateswar

An op-ed just came across our desk that we wanted to share, as part of this week's Violence Forum here at TRD.  In a Boston Globe op-ed this week, Liv Ullmann, reminds us of the violence suffered by refugees in Darfur, Nepal, and Kenya.  Writes Ullmann:

For thousands of these impoverished women and girls, gathering firewood is more than a vital chore - it is often a matter of life and death. By doing what many of us achieve by simply turning on a stove, refugee women and girls regularly fall victim to rape, assault, theft, exploitation, and even murder... It's high time we get "beyond firewood" and explore alternative fuels and cutting-edge energy technologies, such as clean-burning fuels, fuel-efficient stoves, and solar cookers, Ullmann says.  We need to reduce women’s vulnerability to violence by investing in alternative sources of fuel that do not require women to travel long distances to collect firewood. 


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VIOLENCE FORUM: Things to do Now to Stop Violence against Women

December 16, 2008 posted by admin If Vice-President-elect Joe Biden called me up seeking my input on how to build support for initiatives to end violence against women, I’d first thank him for wanting to hear from a young American woman, and a survivor of abuse, because it’s often women’s lack of political voice that enables violence to continue.  Acknowledging Biden’s longtime advocacy on this issue, most notably, his drafting of the Violence Against Women Act (1994), I’d say, Joe, if you want to build support for this important law, and make sure it truly is the “greatest breakthrough in civil rights for women in nearly two decades” (NOW), it’s time to break through the military code of silence surrounding servicewomen survivors of sexual assault, and realize that to really end violence towards women, we must end war.  As we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this week, People magazine released the story of three enlisted women who were brutally murdered at Ft. Bragg, NC.  One in three women who join the US military will be sexually assaulted or raped by men in the military.  And in Iraq the Army may be covering up the rape and murder of dozens of women soldiers. 


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VIOLENCE FORUM: Enemies Within: Silence and Wartime Rape at Home and Abroad

December 16, 2008 posted by admin What does a skills training center for women in Sierra Leone, a village in Rwanda and an entire district in the Democratic Republic of Congo have in common? At each location, you are likely to find that the majority -- in some cases nearly all -- of the women and girls have been raped. What do women in these African countries have in common with women in the United States military? Silence and Inaction. A recent article reported that more than 37 women GIs in Iraq have experienced sexual violence at the hands of their own comrades: “The women…have reported poor medical treatment, lack of counseling and incomplete criminal investigations by military officials. Some say they were threatened with punishment after reporting assaults.”


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Rape as a War Crime and Women’s Human Rights: Dear Joe…

December 16, 2008 posted by Linda Basch Last week marked the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As we continue to celebrate this important milestone this month, we pause to reflect on the violence that women and girls continue to endure inside our nation and around the world. Sadly, its prevalence continues unabated and cuts across race, class, geography, education and income levels. Women's rights are human rights, but the full import of this is yet to be fully realized.


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NEXT GENERATION FORUM--Looking Past the U.S. Borders in the Next Four Years

December 8, 2008 posted by admin

Kyla Bender-Baird: What message would you like to send to Hillary Clinton, our next likely Secretary of State?  


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Burning Questions at the AWID Conference

December 3, 2008 posted by admin We're pleased to bring you a report from the AWID conference in South Africa last month, from Sande Smith, Director of Public Education at the Global Fund for Women.  If you've attended a conference or event that you'd like to share with us, please email us at ncrw@regender.org. And now, here's Sande! During this, my first Association of Women’s Rights in Development forum,  I heeded the advice of colleagues on how to manage the conference without falling prey to overwhelm. And to their advice, I added my own insight: follow a thread.


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SECRETARY OF STATE FORUM--Marie Wilson Urges HRC to Make A Lot of Phone Calls

December 2, 2008 posted by admin While President-elect Obama called on Monday for "a new dawn of American leadership," his selection of Hillary Clinton as our country's next Secretary of State brings a well-known, and in many instances well-liked, face to the international scene.  It is this mix of familiarity joined with fresh perspective that will allow Clinton to rebuild our nation's relationships with the world's leaders. According to The New York Times, the team assembled by Obama calls for a "sweeping foreign policy shift," geared to "strengthening the tools needed to deal with unconventional threats."  A well-funded and active state department is indeed central to this goal.  But building the opportunities to make this shift requires the mending of U.S.


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SECRETARY OF STATE FORUM--Abigail Disney on HRC’s Projected Ascent

December 2, 2008 posted by admin "Senator Clinton's accession to Secretary of State will be an unprecedented opportunity for women at long last to take their rightful place shoulder-to-shoulder in the  international community as leaders, as peers, and as beings whose human rights are as important, valued and 'inalienable' as those of men.  Too long the human rights community has dismissed women's rights as important, but not  'human rights' and therefore not important enough to be addressed by their gigantic and well-funded organizations.


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SECRETARY OF STATE FORUM--Women Leaders from Media and Academia Salute HRC

December 2, 2008 posted by admin

“As Barack Obama introduced Hillary Clinton as his nominee for Secretary of State on Monday, the wish of many during the heated presidential primaries came true: that there would be an opportunity to use the immense skills of both to tackle the enormous problems we face. There is no question that both realize they are being handed the most delicate of assignments. With Clinton's history of working for the rights of women, we expect that she will fold into her portfolio the fate of the women of the world—those targeted by acid in Pakistan, rape in the Congo, and hunger everywhere. Until these issues of personal security are resolved, it is unlikely that so-called high-level treaties will hold.”

--Carol Jenkins, President, Women’s Media Center


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Inspired Choices for Tough Jobs

December 2, 2008 posted by Linda Basch There is a widespread outcry for the US to reassert its moral leadership in the world. How do we do this? Well, for starters, we can demonstrate a genuine commitment to partnering with other nations to create greater global security and equality for all peoples – across genders, religions, ethnicities, races, and sexualities.  We have a lot of ground to make up, given the US’s record over the past eight years, when our government has often seemed to impede rather than facilitate global peace and security.  In this regard, President-elect Obama’s choice of Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State is promising.


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