Friday, January 6, 2012

IACHR Presents Report on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of Women

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a report that addresses the discrimination against women in the job market and in receiving social security, in addition to the higher rates of illiteracy among women and girls, extreme feminization of poverty, and women’s exclusion from society and political sphere. The report, The Work, Education and Resources of Women: The Road to Equality in Guaranteeing Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, identifies the deep-rooted and systemic discrimination against women and argues that structural inequalities between men and women are widespread in all social sectors. In areas like the economy, education, labor, health, justice, and decision-making, women have fewer opportunities to access economic resources, inhibiting the protection of their human rights. Women remain vulnerable to physical and sexual violence and often are denied access to legal remedies to seek justice for violations of their rights.

Human Rights USA served as an editor of the IACHR report by reviewing compiled data submitted by several organizations. Civil society groups, academics, public defenders, and ombudspersons’ offices answered questionnaires, circulated by the IACHR, that discuss various forms of discrimination against women. These organizations included experts from: Argentina’s Office of the Public Defender General; Campaña Mujeres Vida y Derecho Law School, Human Rights Institute; Equipo Latinoamericano de Justicia y Género (Natalia Gherardi and Laura Pautassi); Human Rights Watch (Marianne Mollmann); International Women’s Human Rights Clinic, the City University of New York School of Law; Legal Momentum; National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV); National Women’s Law Center; Oficina Jurídica de la Mujer (Bolivia); Verónica Cruz Sánchez, Director of the Centro las Libres, Mexico; and Human Rights USA.

In addition, Human Rights USA, Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School, International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at The City University of New York School of Law, Legal Momentum, and National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) submitted information that indicated that the Reauthorization of the Federal Violence Against Women Act introduced “new legal protections for women victims of domestic violence where their right to housing was concerned.”

Moving forward, the Commission recommends that Organization of American States (OAS) Members investigate discrimination against women in the workplace, in education, and in access to economic resources in order to develop a comprehensive approach to promote women’s economic, social and cultural rights in the inter-American system.

View the report here.

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