Category Archives: Human rights

Why Was the 1995 Beijing Conference for Women Groundbreaking? Read a Firsthand Account

Posted by Jinxiang Li

In 1995 Beijing,Hillary Clinton’s speech at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women.This is a hot time of international women’s movement participants from different countries of Beijing World Conference on Women.A lot of people can listen to her famous speech” Women’s rights are human’s rights”

For the first generation chines feminist, it is a memory that”we found our organization”.It is almost common experience .They were deeply shaken in the forum, they get important relationship and know important persons, which is a turning point to there Chines feminist.

This article  describes the process of meeting at that time, and how to put these plans into action.We have to ensure that the victory fruits of Conference.What does it all mean in reality? The platform is not a legally binding document, but rather a guide for the U.N. governments and nongovernmental organizations. It clearly recognizes women’s rights as human rights; the right of women to make their own decisions about childbearing and sexuality without fear of coercion; women’s rights to protection against all forms of violence including rape, genital mutilation, domestic abuse, and sexual harassment; the rights of the child, balanced by the responsibilities of the parents, with the best interest of the child paramount. For those who worked so hard on the Caucus on Girls, there is great satisfaction in seeing the “persistent discrimination against and violation of the rights of the girl child” included as a separate critical area of concern where such issues as child marriage, female infanticide, and prenatal sex selection are addressed.

This conference brought the most profound influence was it brought NGO to China. With increasing enthusiasm from the 1990s. Government and Communist Party departments at various levels have been setting up foundations and other organizations to advance charitable, research, information and policy objectives. These creatures are commonly called “GONGOs” (Government Organized NGOs); Another part is bottom-up NGO.Statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs suggest that today, officially registered NGOs including GONGOs in China numbered 244,000 7. The total number of bottom-up and self-governing autonomous NGOs is unknown.These are predominantly concentrated in the areas of social service provision, economic development, women’s rights and environmental protection.

Op-Ed: Review Comparison on Two Different Human Rights Activism Techniques

By C. White on October 21, 2015

Book titled, Confronting Global Gender Justice: Women’s Lives, Human Rights includes “Marjorie Agosin’s poetics of memory: human rights, feminism, and literary forms” by Pérez and “Digital storytelling for gender justice: exploring the challenges of participation and the limits of polyvocality” by Hill. I recommend these readings, especially for anyone interested in female human rights advocacy. Both authors creatively use different, multicultural techniques to promote emotional relief to abuse victims, witnesses, and the readers or viewers of their work.

So why should you or anyone else care about their different techniques to address human rights creatively? You may wonder why you or anyone should bother looking at their work? Well, trust me, you will gain more perseverance, determination, and stress-relief from reading how they use traumatic experiences creatively. But I must advise that they have contrasting creative techniques to advocate for female human rights.

With Agosin, she uses poetry to expose social injustice in Latin America, by intersecting multidimensional domains with ethics, ethnicity, multi-voices, spirituality, humanitarianism, and ethics. Her narration is based upon fictional autobiographies on traumatic events. She advocates for awareness of the brutal, dictatorial, Pinochet regime (1973-1989) and her work gives “unofficial truths” to promote memory recollection, social injustice for the abused and missing females who disappeared, and accountability, through her visions, imaginations, distortions of facts, false reality, and metaphors. She uses her poetry to spiritually connect to the missing victims, their living relatives, and traumas from the brutal, Pinochet regime. Her Latin American culture may be confusing to some people, especially those unfamiliar with cultural norms and values involving the supernatural realm, magic, and the practice of spiritual human channeling of other people. Different countries, norms, and religions do not condone spiritual human channeling, and in the United States (US), only a margin of citizens currently practice the act. The act was also illegal in the US and West Europe, especially between the 17th and 19th century.

On the other hand, Silence Speaks is an ethnographic, digital storytelling, that allows ordinary people internationally, who were victims or witnesses to social injustice, to share their personal accounts. These “citizen journalists” use short video clips to address the address historical life experiences and their culture, from the interception of communication, teaching, and engagement in oral history. Viewers simultaneously are able to address their own conflicts, which directly promotes their inner-healings. I actually found this to be more enjoyable, less depressing, and more beneficial to the victims and short story viewers. I like how the short video clips contribute to the inner-healings of the traumatic victims and those who view their accounts. Therefore, readers and viewers are able to benefit from these creative, female human rights advocacy pieces, or share them with those who would.

Many people suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and I believe relaxation and creativity promotes and facilitates inner-relief, although complete inner-healing will never occur. Agosin’s poetries seems more enjoyable to those who share her Latin American culture. But Silence Speak is understandable to those familiar with the US culture because the internet channel, YouTube, is similar to Silence Speak and it is viewed regularly, worldwide. I have replaced television channels with short narrative clips on YouTube years ago, and experience great comfort and inner-relief from all kinds of unwanted stress on a regular basis. YouTube is very popular because it connects viewers with the narrators and stories, identical to Silence Speaks. So although I never watched Silence Speaks before, I know firsthand of its great effectiveness, based upon reading about Hill’s creative, female human rights advocacy technique.

Europe needs to do more to prevent human trafficking

This snippet highlights another consequence of the migration of refugees from the Middle East and Africa.

According to the article, human traffickers are taking advantage of refugees’ vulnerable state, often smuggling them via “unseaworthy vessels.”

UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, is urging Europe to help trafficked victims through not allowing immigration policies to negatively affect anti-human trafficking laws as this could lead to an increase in human trafficking and exploitation.

Former circumciser in Ethiopia advocates for ending Female Circumcision

Asiya Hamed is a woman who was a traditional birth attendant and female circumciser in her community, the Afambo District in Ethiopia. She now advocates for the ending of Female Circumcision/Female Genital Mutilation (FC/FGM).

After training through the Afar Pastoralist Development Association 2 years ago, she has become active in ending FC. She says that she thought she was “helping” women and girls and now realizes how it can cause harm to them (shock, hemorrhaging, difficulty during birth).

It should be noted that in this community, FC is traditionally done on girls within 7 days of being born; the article does not specify which “type” is being performed.

Hmong child bride lawsuit in Minnesota

This article is about child brides ie human trafficking of child brides from Laos. In this case, a woman has chosen to speak out and is suing her perpetrator/abuser.

There is apparently a population of Hmong people in St. Paul Minnesota and it is a common occurrence where young girls in Laos are lured with the promise of something like being in a music video or meeting a movie star as was the case with this woman. The community does not openly speak against it because it could mean some sort of physical retaliation.

This woman was taken at the age of 14 (she is now 22) under the promise of an audition to be in a music video. Instead, a relative of the man who initially made the promise to the young girl (and her parents) showed up and raped her. He eventually allowed her to return home, but upon learning she was pregnant, forced her to marry him. Upon bringing her to the US, he kept her passport and immigration documents as well as threatened her with taking their child away if she tried to leave. Eventually, she was able to get a protective order against him and their “cultural” marriage ended.

And now she is suing him “for $450,000, the minimum statutory damages under “Masha’s Law,” a federal law that provides for a civil remedy in the form of monetary compensation in child pornography, child sex tourism, child sex trafficking and other similar cases.”



Chinese First Lady addresses UN high-level meeting on women and children

Posted by Jinxiang Li

Last week Chinese president Xi Jinping to visit US.

On Sept. 26, Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan spoke on a Plenary at UN General Assembly 2015. She talked about how important it is for women and girls to get a good education, children and adolescents is the most important investment in mankind’s future.However, women still account for half of the world’s poor and 60 percent of adults can not read or write. Education is the key to solving these inequalities.

Despite China’s generosity, Xi’s role as co-host provoked stern criticism from those who believe China is backsliding on its once-admirable record of gender rights. Although Chairman Mao proclaimed that “women hold up half the sky,” the traditional preference for sons persists today, evident in China’s skewed gender ratio: 118 boys for every 100 girls. Activists have also demanded the release of feminist protesters arrested in China last spring.

“If people see that Xi has such a beautiful wife, it would make the party seem more humane and less robotic,” Li Yinhe, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told The New York Times in 2012 – a task Peng now approaches on the global stage.

I think in the actual conditions in China, from the top to down to implement the Government’s policy,which is the most obvious ways to implement the efficiency and effectiveness. The speeches will be a great advance of protecting human rights of Chinese women.

Federal Plan for addressing sex trafficking in the US

The title of the report is: Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017.

Although it is somewhat lengthy to read, it is worth at least skimming through. Most of our class readings and discussions focus on events in other countries. I believe it is important to keep up on what is going on in the US as well.

This Action Plan, developed by our current administration, delineates strategies and expectations for addressing sex trafficking. It was developed by several governmental agencies and focuses on specific goals to be accomplished over a 5-year period, although the hope is the Plan will be a foundation for long-term goals as well.


China’s Women Shortage Fuels Trafficking

In rural China, a host of cultural and economic factors such as gender imbalance, rural poverty, and the high cost of bride price and wedding are the root causes for the increased demand of women into forced marriage Due to the long history of devaluing women, an imbalanced sex ratio has been a long-term problem. It was reported that the sex ratio at birth in 2010 was 118.08 males for 100 females, which was an improvement of 119.45 to 100 in 2009. As a result of this imbalanced sex ratio, many poor men in rural areas are unmarried either because they could not find a partner or because they could not afford the bride price or wedding. In many areas, the high cost of a wedding ceremony and bride gifts exceeds the price of purchasing a wife. Due to the traditional belief that a daughter after marriage will stop providing for her natal family and become the labor force for the husband’s family, the bride’s parents require the bridegroom to provide financial compensation for raising the daughter. Without the appropriate bride price, the parents would not permit the marriage. Since parents’ endorsement is the key to the daughter’s marriage, poor men find themselves unable to afford a bride.

Pressured by the family, many poor men would purchase women from outside into forced marriages. In many rural areas in China, marriage is not an individual issue, but a family business. This is because men are obligated to produce male heirs to continue the lineage through marriage. In times of difficulty to fulfill his duty, a man usually receives help from his entire family to purchase a woman who will be utilized as a reproductive tool to carry on the lineage. When facing the police’s demand to free the woman, the buyer would receive sympathy and may even be protected by villagers because purchasing a wife is considered a morally correct thing to do for an unmarried man.

Jimmy Carter speaks about the mistreatment of women being a human rights issue

Former US President, Jimmy Carter has long been an advocate and proactive in the equal treatment of women around the world. In this recent TED talk, he provides three main reasons for why he believes “the mistreatment of women is the number one human rights issue.”

The reasons he cites are: 1) the misinterpretation of scriptures by men; 2) excessive use of violence; and 3) “men don’t give a damn”

Mr. Carter highlights several global issues that negatively affect girls and women including: genital mutilation (FGM), infibulation, honor killings, human trafficking/slavery, prostitution, sexual assaults in the military, sexual assaults on university campuses in the US, and the gender wage gap.

At the end of this video, he calls for people to be proactive in protecting women and girls, globally.

How Menstrual Cups Can Improve Educational Outcomes For Girls In Africa

Menstruation is an often overlooked factor in understanding poor educational outcomes for girls in parts of Africa and other developing areas.  Without access to sanitary products, many girls (and women) are often forced to use items like unsanitary rags, leaves or old newspapers to cope with their periods.  Due to the lack of sufficient sanitation facilities at schools as well as an inability to purchase proper sanitary products, many girls can miss up to 6 weeks of school per year.

Project Dignity is one of several organizations devoted to providing access to sanitary products.  For each box of menstrual cups purchased at participating locations, they promise to provide a free 3 month supply of menstrual cups to a girl in one of these developing areas.  By providing access to sanitary products, projects like this can help increase educational outcomes for girls as well as addressing a public health issue.

RH Reality Check – Menstruation can be a curse

WomenCare Global – Project Dignity


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