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Why does the world seem to have so much trouble recognizing women's rights as human rights?
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations (UN) formally declared the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Women have their voices dismissed, their experiences devalued, and their lives are often on a continuum between distressed and destroyed as a result. Domestically in the United States, women and girls experience discrimination and harm in a variety of spheres.
With rape and sexual assault in the military itself, the number of female soldiers that report being assaulted by fellow soldiers is high and reporting is increasing. Ladies-You know who you are!Men-Know Who You Might Be Dealing With!Dating after divorce can be a wonderful new beginning but everyone approaches it differently. Known to her community as Dona Dije, at 68 years old, Afro-Brazilian Maria de Jesus Bringelo is one of the most important national leaders of the women babassu nut breakers movement in Brazil.
More than 18 million hectares of Brazilian land is covered by babassu palms and the babassu nut that comes from the tree is used extensively in food, as well as soap and beauty products. In the 1970s, together with two other community activists, Dona Dije started a letter campaign calling on the Pastoral Land Commission of the Catholic Church to support the local women nut breakers who were being forced off their land by cattle ranchers. Dona Dije escaped to the nearby woods with her newborn child, where they lived for three days, until they were offered shelter by the town church. Dona Dije is now coordinator of the Interstate Movement of Babassu Nut Breakers and part of the National Commission for People and Traditional Communities, the advisory group for the implementation of the national development plan for traditional people and their communities in Brazil.
On March 18th, while Dona Dije was in town to demand the protection of land rights at a World Bank meeting, I sat down to interview her about the Brazilian women babassu nutbreakers movement and her incredible work. Can you tell me a bit about the community of support you and the babassu nutbreaker women have built together? It was also important that the male companions could understand that [the] struggle, that fight would benefit us all. And hearing the rancher say that, means for us, the business of livestock is valued much more than human life.
If you were able to, what one thing would you change that would make the biggest difference for the lives of the people you work with?
The biggest difference that can be made in people's lives is to have access to land - is to have their own land.
The message I want to leave: authorities and every person must protect the environment because we must leave a healthy environment to future generations.
It's not as if any can claim that women are an imported or foreign idea or something that doesn't occur in a particular culture.
The whole text applies to all of humanity, but it sees women's rights meriting attention enough to include particular references to them in the preamble and again in four of the Articles (2, 7, 16, and 25). It seems that the self-esteem and confidence of young girls, never equal to boys even when young, is decimated at and after adolescence. The military failed to respond sufficiently to reported incidents until publicity became too big.

In countries around the world, women are denied the ability to vote, they are denied equal standing in court, they find reporting rapes to result in their own prosecution, they are subject to taboos and prohibitions in workplaces and education, they are vulnerable to widow-burning and honor-killings and forced marriages and female genital mutilation (FGM).
Use your voice and wallet to enlist both political pressure and financial support for people and organizations working to make things better for women and girls around the world. When a court found in favor of the women nut breakers who claimed ownership of the land, their community was surrounded and threatened by gunmen. ActionAid in Brazil is a close partner of the babassu nut breakers and other traditional people across the country. Because from their land, they can support their families, they can make a living, they are autonomous. ActionAid is an international organization, working with over 15 million people in 45 countries for a world free from poverty and injustice.
With formal declaration almost 70 years past and having been promoted around the world as a foundational document for human rights, you'd expect tremendous progress to have been made for women's equality following global recognition. Perhaps when the body changes in the journey to adulthood, perhaps then girls get a larger view of how the world will generally treat them. The military dishonored the well-being of its own women soldiers and it is shameful to have military women having to worry not only of the risks of combat but of assault by other American soldiers. Contact your representatives and senators in Congress (see here for information on how to go about doing this) and ask them to include specific support for women's equality with a stronger agenda to achieve it domestically and ask them to count women's rights in other countries as a strong national interest of the United States in international fora.
In 1985, the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform acknowledged the community's right to the land, ruling against the cattle ranchers. While we were [being activists], we were also taking care of our homes, we are looking after our children, we are [doing] chores at home, we are harvesting to bring money into the house.
We were there resisting because the worst thing that would happen to us is to be sent to the [margins] of the city. Unfortunately, nowhere near enough work has been done, and today women remain devalued, dismissed, and sometimes destroyed both domestically in the United States and internationally around the globe.
After seeing how the world generally discriminates against and mistreats women, it is only understandable that they have their inner foundations shaken. Not only do we continue to see alarming levels of harassment, battery, assault, and rape committed against American women, but we fail to even reach political consensus on facing it. They are trafficked into forms of slavery as sexual commodities and as unpaid factory workers and in a thousand other ways, women are not given full equality nor access to the full rights of the UDHR.
If you wish to make a donation, we'd ask that you consider a donation to the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), which is run by an old colleague of mine, Curt Goering. The women nut breakers created their own associations to fight for access to the babassu palm trees and protect community livelihoods.
But we knew that we had to do it all and make space to be there at that meeting at that time, no matter what. Why doesn't solving the problem get more energy from individuals, institutions, governments, and international bodies? What is to follow is often not a mere crisis of confidence, but a series of affronts against them for the simple fact that they are female in the world.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed to provide tools to prevent and prosecute violence against women while offering support to survivors. The United States could support equality efforts and make a serious effort to end this discrimination.
The work they're doing is sensitive and necessary and currently involves victims and survivors of the civil war in Syria, including women, who are largely underserved in efforts to help them recover as they best can. You are not so quick to jump back into another relationship, but you go anyway because you think you are supposed to at least try.
So we faced a lot of oppression, we faced a lot of humiliation but we stayed there because we knew, that if not, it would be even worse. How can anyone fail to recognize that the advancement and protection of women's full equality is a requisite to any future for human rights? Discrimination against women is faced by our mothers, sisters, daughters, partners, friends, and co-workers and is so pervasive to often go unnoticed in all but extreme cases.
When the Act needed reauthorization in 2013, the House of Representatives in particular gave significant resistance saw significant resistance. You feel your clock ticking and think you are getting older and less attractive by the second. If we seek a world with human rights for all, it is a must to remove the barriers to those rights for women.
Apparently, the human rights of women is not enough of a concern to be able to even quickly pass a bill assisting victims of violence. You can’t imagine how you will pay all the bills by yourself or handle household problems and children solo. Of the two nonmember observer states, the Holy See has not acceded to CEDAW while Palestine has. But the most basic and imperative support, and one that you should repeat constantly, is to constantly ask yourself what can be done to better support full equality for women and have this conversation in offices and grocery stores and homes nationwide. We deserve to live in a world where the UDHR is more than a dream, but one of full equality, where our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, co-workers, partners and the whole of humankind enjoys full equality. You want this person to treat you as if they care about you, even though you don't really care about them.
Seven member states have failed to ratify or accede to the Treaty: Iran, Palau, Sudan, South Sudan, Tonga, and the United States. Look at that list and ask yourself if there is enough being done by the United States to support women's equality internationally.
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