At the current session of the UN Human Rights Council, Russia has tabled a resolution seeking to promote “traditional values” as a basis for human rights. Numerous UN experts have emphasised that traditional values are frequently invoked by States to justify human rights violations, such as family violence, marital rape, and forced marriage. A preliminary report of the Advisory Committee is highly critical of a traditional values approach to human rights, calling traditional values “vague, subjective and unclear” and noting that “those most marginalized and disenfranchised have the most to lose from a traditional values approach to human rights”.
The arrest, release and then rearrest of Meriam Ibrahim is not really about visas, exit stamps and plane tickets, writes Harriet Alexander. Instead it's a potent cocktail of political positioning, religious extremism and family feuding - with a young mother at its centre When rumour of her release from prison first surfaced, we didn't dare to believe it. When it was confirmed by the Sudanese authorities, we began to have real hope.
GENEVA (6 November 2013) – Flogging women, including for “honour-related offences” amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in international law and must stop, two independent UN human rights experts said Wednesday in the wake of recent cases involving women in Sudan.
29 October 2013 – Harmful practices inflicted on women and girls can never be justified in the name of freedom of religion or belief, an independent United Nations human rights expert told a General Assembly committee dealing with social, humanitarian and cultural issues today.
“Countless women are exposed to complex forms of human rights violations based on both religion or belief and their sex,” said Heiner Bielefeldt, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.
Commission on Status of Women opens in New York, but Iran, Russia and Vatican thought to be lobbying against key proposals.
Culture and religion must not be allowed to block proposals to eliminate and prevent violence against women and girls, the head of UN Women said on the eve of what is expected to be the largest global summit ever convened to discuss the issue.
A dangerous process is taking place in the UN system that threatens the universality of human rights by seeking to make them contingent on subjective ‘traditional values’ such as ‘responsible behaviour’.
Instead of sanitizing the Muslim right as a way of fighting racism in the North, Meredith Tax argues that the left should develop a strategy of solidarity with democrats, trade unionists, religious and sexual minorities, and feminists struggling in the Global South against both neo-liberalism and fundamentalism.
As Mali pursues peace talks and also prepares for war, Malian women insist they should be at the table for both. They argue women are the primary victims of rebel and terrorist groups occupying the north.
The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 19/6 and focuses on the enjoyment of cultural rights by women on an equal basis with men.
The Special Rapporteur proposes to shift the paradigm from one that views culture as an obstacle to women’s rights to one that seeks to ensure equal enjoyment of cultural rights; such an approach also constitutes an important tool for the realization of all their human rights.