UNIVERSAL WOMEN'S RIGHTS
Updated: Jul 16
We, Sojourners for Truth and Justice, are in support of the 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This is an international bill of rights for women that has been ratified by 189 states. The US has signed but not ratified the treaty. We call for the ratification and implementation of this treaty.
It defines discrimination against women as any distinction, exclusion or restriction made based on sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status. This is based on the equality of men, women, LBGTQ and I people. We call for Equal Human Rights and fundamental freedoms in all sectors of society.
It mandates enshringing gender equality into domestic legislation, repeal of all discriminatory provisions in the laws, and enactment of new provisions to guard against discrimination against women. There must be full equality in political and public life with a focus on equality in voting, participation in government, participation in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and political life of the country.
In order to guarantee basic human rights and fundamental freedoms to women on a basis of equality with men in all political, social, economic and cultural fields, tribunals and public institutions must be established to guarantee women effective protection against discrimination. Steps must be taken to eliminate all forms of discrimination practiced against women by individuals, organizations, and enterprises. We emphasize that special protection for maternity should not be regarded as gender discrimination.
We recognize the importance of eliminating prejudices and customs based on the idea of the inferiority of women or on stereotyped role models that deny the common responsibility men and women should have in the upbringing and development of their children and caring for their home.
We must take all appropriate cultural and legislative measures, no matter how difficult, to stop all forms of trafficking in women, exploitation or prostitution of women and ALL acts of violence against women including rape and forced pregnancy.
We support the need for equal opportunities in education for female students. This also includes equal access to athletics, scholarships and grants.
We call for the right to work for women as an inalienable right with equal pay for equal work. Including the right to social security, paid leave and maternity leave with pay or comparable social benefits without loss of employment, seniority or social benefits. Dismissal on the grounds of maternity, pregnancy or marital status is unacceptable.
There must be no gender barriers to healthcare, ensuring access to health care services related to family planning. To be included is equality for women in economic and social life, especially with respect to the right to family benefits, the right to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit and the right to participate in all recreational activities, sports and all aspects of cultural life.
Finally, we support prohibition of all discrimination against women in matters relating to marriage and family relations. We support the right of women to choose a spouse and enter into or dissolve a marriage. Women and men have the same rights and responsibilities as parents, and partners to decide on the number and spacing of their children, including the right to choose a family name, to choose a profession and occupation and to choose their residence. Women must have equality with men in respect to legal capacity in and outside of marriage. As we move forward, we must ensure that universal rights for women are part of our discussion of a world where all are truly equal.