Human Rights and Women's Rights: The United Nations Approach

TitleHuman Rights and Women's Rights: The United Nations Approach
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1981
AuthorsReanda, Leanne
JournalHuman Rights Quarterly
Date Published05/1981

The principle of equal rights for men and women is one of the basic tenets of the United Nations Charter. In fact, the charter was the first international treaty to spell out the principle of equality in specific terms. In addition to the reaffirmation of faith in equal rights contained in the preamble, the charter lists, among the purposes and principles of the United Nations which member states pledge to observe, "promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction" as to, among other characteristics, sex. The goal of achieving equality between the sexes is reiterated in several other charter provisions. Although the principle of equality between the sexes has been enshrined in the basic human rights instruments, this article argues that, in practice, the interpretation and implementation of these instruments by the competent organs has fallen far short of ensuring full applicability to women as an oppressed and vulnerable social group. [Author]

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