Universal Human Rights: Women Studies


Human rights are intrinsic to all people regardless of their nationality, colour, sex, religion, culture, language, place of birth or whichever other situation. Every human being is entitled to their privileges without any unfairness. The human rights are unified, mutually dependent and inseparable. Universal human rights are articulated and assured by the law through agreements, customary international law, common values as well as other foundations of the international law. The international law for the human rights allows the government to maintain certain duties and obligations that upholds and defends individuals or groups human rights. (Arnhart)

Human rights are universal in the fact that they are unchallengeable as well as inseparable and thus they apply to all human beings. The universality of human rights allows the states to defend and uphold every human right and essential liberty in spite of their political, economic or cultural beliefs. The customary international law helps to protect essential human rights customs universally throughout all borders and cultures. Human rights cannot be deprived except in definite circumstances depending on the process. This for example can be illustrated in the situation where one’s freedom can be controlled when an individual is established guilty of an offense in a court of law. (Blattberg)

Main body

Women rights have been in existence for a long time and they continue to play a great role in fighting for the improvement of the status of women in the society. Women movements are formed in order to shed light to the various problems that women face including economic, social, political as well as environmental issues. The universal human rights and the global systems have served to improve the women movements thus they have been able to acquire political abilities in the modern society. Women as human beings have human rights and this has enabled countries to recognize women rights internationally. The structure of the women rights as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights accord gives the women an opportunity to identify, examine and communicate the challenges of violence, humiliation as well as marginality. The women human rights allow the creation of a universal structure for a wide collection of ideas and solid policies for change. (Freeman)

The universal human rights relate to all people including women and they provide for equality to all humanity thus all people are protected from discrimination. Women are incorporated in institutions that are fighting for equality within the society and thus giving them the power and authority they need to succeed. The human rights have played a great role in promoting women even those from the marginalized communities since they are accorded the human rights by virtue of being human. This can be illustrated in the fact that even when a woman worker is indebted to someone there is no justification in denying them food, freedom or any other status that they are entitled. This is because human rights cannot be sold or abused in any way. (Glendon)

The way human rights are unchangeable has been able to explain how practices such as religion, and social issues are managed within the society. This is possible because one cannot be deprived the right to religion and other cultural practices that they want to perform. The women’s human rights have been promoted in the recent years in cases where it was declared that in case there is conflict between any religion and cultural practices with the women rights it is the women rights that will be able to carry the day. This universal nature of human rights has thus helped improve the rights of women in the society without oppressing them in any way. (Tharoor)

Human rights cannot be indivisible and thus they have helped promote women in the society. The issue of indivisibility has offered women a diverse structure in which they are able to highlight the importance of participating in developing and executing issues through gender equality. This has allowed women to demand that democracy and political solidity cannot be gotten without including women in the process and addressing the challenges that women face both socially and economically. The issues surrounding women rights has unlocked the way women all over the world deal with matters that affect them both privately and publicly. In matters of education, religion, culture and other issues, women from around the world are enlightened on matters concerning women giving them the knowledge they require to achieve their potential. (Glendon)

However, traditions, inequity, social as well as economic issues have in most cases barred women from achieving a lot of potential in the society. The discrimination of women in the area of human rights is clearly an indication of gender inequality in the international community thus it has had a terrible impact on the lives of these women. This has led to the continuation and in fact the disregard of the women to inferior status within the society. These issues have brought about the problems in trying to achieve equality for human rights violations. Many societies even in the modern world do not take care of women rights and many women are considered as inferior and have no say in the community. Many young women do not have access to educational facilities because there is no law or policies to allow women to have equal rights with their male counter parts. (General Assembly of the United Nations)

The problem is further worsened by the fact that there is the notion of “private” and “public” life in the society since this restricts the authority of the administration. In many countries, it means that what an individual does in public is supposed to be controlled while any actions that take place privately are exempted from the law. This public regulation has been the only focus in the international human rights promotion thus it is not sufficient to protect the women rights. The issues of women rights have not been observed in detail because those people in the public or governmental authority primarily the men domain are more concerned with issues that affect them. (Freeman)

The women rights have also not been clearly defined especially in situations where one is abused, probably raped while in custody and such issues are not catered for thus the woman does not receive justice. This is mainly because the place of the woman has been traditionally seen as in the home or family. Men are portrayed as superior in the society and hence the foremost ideas of human rights abuse have completely have had man as their model. The major set back of the human rights violations against women mainly occur privately between individuals and they do not come out in the open since they are matters that the state cannot deal with. The human rights should be taken seriously by the state in order to ensure that all individuals are protected from all types of abuse by prosecuting the offenders. (Dickerson, Kouzmin, & Korac-kakabadse 287)

Women rights are not well addressed in the civil and political areas in the human rights organizations and they are mostly not given the privileges that are available in the public or political field. In some countries, women are not allowed to vote or take up positions within the political arena or any leadership position. In other cases, some religions discriminate against women and they are not allowed to be in the forefront of any religious matters. Women are not allowed to choose their marriage partners in some cultures and they cannot walk out of the marriage even when it is not fulfilling. Such cultures do not allow for certain issues practiced in the contemporary society such as a divorce and separation. Polygamy is also practiced in some of these communities portraying the women as the subordinate. These issues should be addressed within the human rights organization to ensure gender equality within the society. (Blattberg)

Women under go many injustices especially in the situation where there is war. In such a situation, women together with children make up many of the refugees and displaced persons. In most cases, they are raped or beaten by the men in these wars and they have to carry the scars all their life. Many of these women suffer psychological trauma and cannot be able to provide for themselves or their children. In some communities, the rapists are not even considered criminals and these women have to learn to deal with the issues on their own. The human rights commission should be able to put into consideration some of these cultural practices in order to ensure that the women population is protected from their male counterparts. (Barzilai)

The human rights should also be able to look into the issue of women rights to own and acquire property. In some communities in places like Africa, the women folk are not allowed to own any property even when their spouses die. Wife inheritance is wide spread in such communities exposing the women to various infections and serious calamities. These women are supposed to follow the traditions and cultural practices of the society otherwise they will be shunned in the community. The women are also exposed to female genital mutilation before they are married off. Most of these women are young girls who are supposed to be in school but they are married off early as dictated by tradition. The human rights for women rights at the international level should be able to ensure that these girls receive the required education. The women rights commission should have campaigns to create awareness among the minority communities and societies to ensure that all people are treated equally with the respect that each deserves. (Arnhart)

The international law on human rights and in specific women rights should be conclusive enough to ensure that all the countries understand and preserve the rights of women both socially and economically. Domestic violence has been in the increase in the recent years and it is important that married women are protected. Domestic violence is experienced even in the modern societies and this clearly shows that women rights have not been taken care of. Many young and even older women die in the hands of their spouses and these cases in most situations go unpunished. Other women are abused physically and psychologically with the spouses walking freely since the law does not provide for such matters in the constitutions. The international community should ensure that these issues are included in the international law for human rights and primarily women rights. (Amnesty International)


The human right has provided a lot of help to the women in general for the past years and has created more opportunities that had been denied in the past. This has helped many women rise above society oppression and prove that they have the potential to achieve what men can achieve. The human rights are not universal however and thus many issues need to be addressed especially for the women who have continuously been regarded as inferior to the men folk. Many issues should be considered in order to allow for gender equality and promotion and protection of women rights. The society should be able to ensure that all the human rights issues are addressed and followed as stated.

Works Cited

Amnesty International. Amnesty International Report. Amnesty International, Publications, 2004.Print.

Arnhart, Larry. Darwinian Natural Right: The Biological Ethics of Human Nature. SUNY Press.1998.Print

Barzilai, Gad. Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.2003.Print

Blattberg, Charles. The Ironic Tragedy of Human Rights in Patriotic Elaborations: Essays in Practical Philosophy. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007.Print

Dickerson, B.David, Kouzmin, Alexander, & Korac-kakabadse, Nada.”Taking ideology out of ethics: from failed business strategies to new cross-cultural platforms”, Baltic Journal of management1.3 (2006):285-299.

Freeman, Michael. Human rights: an interdisciplinary approach. Wiley-Blackwell, 2002.Print

General Assembly of the United Nations. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1948.

Glendon, Mary Ann. “The Rule of Law in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, Northwestern University Journal of International Human Rights 2.5 (2004):n.pag.Web.n.d.

Tharoor, Shashi. Are Human Rights Universal? Winter 1999/2000.

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