rights are the rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls of many socie ties worldwide

. In some places these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local cus tom, and behaviour, whereas in others they may 444

be ignored or suppressed. They differ from broader notions of human rights throu gh claims of an inherent historical and traditional bias against the exercise of rights by women and girls in favour of men and boys.[1] Issues commonly associated with notions of women's rights include, though are no t limited to, the right: to bodily integrity and autonomy; to vote (suffrage); t o hold public office; to work; to fair wages or equal pay; to own property; to e ducation; to serve in the military or be conscripted; to enter into legal contra cts; and to have marital, parental and religious rights.[2] Contents [hide] 1 History of women's rights 1.1 China 1.2 Greece 1.3 Ancient Rome 1.4 Religious script

ures 1.4.1 Bible 1.4.2 Qur'an 1.5 The Middle Ages 1.6 18th and 19th century Europe 2 Equal employment rights for women and men 3 Suffrage, the right to vote 4 Property rights 5 Modern movements 5.1 Birth control and reproductive rights 5.2 United Nations an

d World Conferences on Women 6 Natural law and women's rights 7 Human rights and women's rights 7.1 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women 7.2 United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 7.3 Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks out for women's rights

7.4 Maputo Protocol 8 Rape and sexual violence 8.1 Rape as an element of the crime of genocide 8.2 Rape and sexual enslavement as crime against humanity 9 2011 study of status by country 10 See also 11 References 12 Sources 13 External links History of women's rights See also: Legal rights of women in history and Timeline of women's rights (other than voting) China The status of women in China was low, largely due to the custom of foot binding. About 45% of Chinese women had bound feet in the 19th century. For the upper cl asses, it was almost 100%. In 1912, the Chinese government ordered the cessation of foot-binding. Foot-binding involved alteration of the bone structure so that the feet were only about 4 inches long. The bound feet caused difficulty of mov ement, thus greatly limiting the activities of women. Due to the social custom that men and women should not be near to one another, t he women of China were reluctant to be treated by male doctors of Western Medici ne. This resulted in a tremendous need for female doctors of Western Medicine in China. Thus, female medical missionary Dr. Mary H. Fulton (1854-1927)[3] was se nt by the Foreign Missions Board of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to found the f irst medical college for women in China. Known as the Hackett Medical College fo r Women (???????),[4][5] this College was located in Guangzhou, China, and was e nabled by a large donation from Mr. Edward A.K. Hackett (1851-1916) of Indiana, USA. The College was aimed at the spreading of Christianity and modern medicine and the elevation of Chinese women's social status.[6][7] Greece The status of women in ancient Greece varied form city state to city state. Reco rds exist of women in ancient Delphi, Gortyn, Thessaly, Megara and Sparta owning land, the most prestigious form of private property at the time.[8] In ancient Athens, women had no legal personhood and were assumed to be part of the oikos headed by the male kyrios. Until marriage, women were under the guardi anship of their father or other male relative, once married the husband became a woman s kyrios. As women were barred from conducting legal proceedings, the kyrio s would do so on their behalf.[9] Athenian women had limited right to property a nd therefore were not considered full citizens, as citizenship and the entitleme nt to civil and political rights was defined in relation to property and the mea ns to life.[10] However, women could acquire rights over property through gifts, dowry and inheritance, though her kyrios had the right to dispose of a woman s pr operty.[11] Athenian women could enter into a contract worth less than the value of a medimnos of barley (a measure of grain), allowing women to engage in petty t rading.[9] Slaves, like women, were not eligible for full citizenship in ancient Athens, though in rare circumstances they could become citizens if freed. The o nly permanent barrier to citizenship, and hence full political and civil rights, in ancient Athens was gender. No women ever acquired citizenship in ancient Ath ens, and therefore women were excluded in principle and practice from ancient At henian democracy.[12] By contrast, Spartan women enjoyed a status, power, and respect that was unknown in the rest of the classical world. Although Spartan women were formally exclud ed from military and political life they enjoyed considerable status as mothers of Spartan warriors. As men engaged in military activity, women took responsibil ity for running estates. Following protracted warfare in the 4th century BC Spar tan women owned approximately between 35% and 40% of all Spartan land and proper ty.[13][14] By the Hellenistic Period, some of the wealthiest Spartans were wome n.[15] They controlled their own properties, as well as the properties of male r elatives who were away with the army.[13] Spartan women rarely married before th

e age of 20, and unlike Athenian women who wore heavy, concealing clothes and we re rarely seen outside the house, Spartan women wore short dresses and went wher e they pleased.[16] Girls as well as boys received an education, and young women as well as young men may have participated in the Gymnopaedia ("Festival of Nud e Youths").[13][17] Plato acknowledged that extending civil and political rights to women would subs tantively alter the nature of the household and the state.[18] Aristotle, who ha d been taught by Plato, denied that women were slaves or subject to property, ar guing that "nature has distinguished between the female and the slave", but he c onsidered wives to be "bought". He argued that women's main economic activity is that of safeguarding the household property created by men. According to Aristo tle the labour of women added no value because "the art of household management is not identical with the art of getting wealth, for the one uses the material w hich the other provides".[19] Contrary to these views, the Stoic philosophers argued for equality of the sexes , sexual inequality being in their view contrary to the laws of nature.[20] In d oing so, they followed the Cynics, who argued that men and women should wear the same clothing and receive the same kind of education.[20] They also saw marriag e as a moral companionship between equals rather than a biological or social nec essity, and practiced these views in their lives as well as their teachings.[20] The Stoics adopted the views of the Cynics and added them to their own theories of human nature, thus putting their sexual egalitarianism on a strong philosoph ical basis.[20] Ancient Rome For more details on this topic, see Women in ancient Rome. Fulvia, the wife of Mark Antony, commanded troops during the Roman civil wars an d was the first woman whose likeness appeared on Roman coins.[21] Freeborn women of ancient Rome were citizens who enjoyed legal privileges and pr otections that did not extend to non-citizens or slaves. Roman society, however, was patriarchal, and women could not vote, hold public office, or serve in the military.[22] Women of the upper classes exercised political influence through m arriage and motherhood. During the Roman Republic, the mother of the Gracchus br others and of Julius Caesar were noted as exemplary women who advanced the caree r of their sons. During the Imperial period, women of the emperor's family could acquire considerable political power, and were regularly depicted in official a rt and on coinage. Plotina exercised influence on both her husband, the emperor Trajan, and his successor Hadrian. Her letters and petitions on official matters were made available to the public an indication that her views were considered i mportant to popular opinion.[23] A child's citizen status was determined by that of its mother. Both daughters an d sons were subject to patria potestas, the power wielded by their father as hea d of household (paterfamilias). At the height of the Empire (1st 2nd centuries), t he legal standing of daughters differs little if at all from that of sons.[24] G irls had equal inheritance rights with boys if their father died without leaving a will.[25] Couple clasping hands in marriage, idealized by Romans as the building block of society and as a partnership of companions who work together to produce and rear children, manage everyday affairs, lead exemplary lives, and enjoy affection[26 ] In the earliest period of the Roman Republic, a bride passed from her father's c ontrol into the "hand" (manus) of her husband. She then became subject to her hu sband's potestas, though to a lesser degree than their children.[27] This archai c form of manus marriage was largely abandoned by the time of Julius Caesar, whe n a woman remained under her father's authority by law even when she moved into her husband's home. This arrangement was one of the factors in the independence Roman women enjoyed relative to those of many other ancient cultures and up to t

he modern period:[28] although she had to answer to her father in legal matters, she was free of his direct scrutiny in her daily life,[29] and her husband had no legal power over her.[30] When her father died, she became legally emancipate d (sui iuris).[24] A married woman retained ownership of any property she brough t into the marriage.[24] Although it was a point of pride to be a "one-man woman " (univira) who had married only once, there was little stigma attached to divor ce, nor to speedy remarriage after the loss of a husband through death or divorc e.[31] Under classical Roman law, a husband had no right to abuse his wife physi cally or compel her to have sex.[32] Wife beating was sufficient grounds for div orce or other legal action against the husband.[33] Because she remained legally a part of her birth family, a Roman woman kept her own family name for life. Children most often took the father's name, but in the Imperial period sometimes made their mother's name part of theirs, or even used it instead.[34] A Roman mother's right to own property and to dispose of it as she saw fit, including setting the terms of her own will, enhanced her influence over her sons even when they were adults.[35] Because of their legal status as citizens and the degree to which they could become emancipated, women could own property, enter contracts, and engage in business.[36] Some acquired and dispose d of sizable fortunes, and are recorded in inscriptions as benefactors in fundin g major public works.[37] Roman women could appear in court and argue cases, though it was customary for t hem to be represented by a man.[38] They were simultaneously disparaged as too i gnorant and weak-minded to practice law, and as too active and influential in le gal matters resulting in an edict that limited women to conducting cases on their own behalf instead of others'.[39] Even after this restriction was put in place, there are numerous examples of women taking informed actions in legal matters, including dictating legal strategy to their male advocates.[40] Bronze statuette of a young woman reading (latter 1st century) The first Roman emperor, Augustus, framed his ascent to sole power as a return t o traditional morality, and attempted to regulate the conduct of women through m oral legislation. Adultery, which had been a private family matter under the Rep ublic, was criminalized,[41] and defined broadly as an illicit sex act (stuprum) that occurred between a male citizen and a married woman, or between a married woman and any man other than her husband. That is, a double standard was in plac e: a married woman could have sex only with her husband, but a married man did n ot commit adultery when he had sex with a prostitute, slave, or person of margin alized status (infamis).[42] Childbearing was encouraged by the state: the ius t rium liberorum ("legal right of three children") granted symbolic honors and leg al privileges to a woman who had given birth to three children, and freed her fr om any male guardianship.[43] Stoic philosophies influenced the development of Roman law. Stoics of the Imperi al era such as Seneca and Musonius Rufus developed theories of just relationship s. While not advocating equality in society or under the law, they held that nat ure gives men and women equal capacity for virtue and equal obligations to act v irtuously, and that therefore men and women had an equal need for philosophical education.[20] These philosophical trends among the ruling elite are thought to have helped improve the status of women under the Empire.[44] Rome had no system of state-supported schooling, and education was available onl y to those who could pay for it. The daughters of senators and knights seem to h ave regularly received a primary education (for ages 7 to 12).[45] Regardless of gender, few people were educated beyond that level. Girls from a modest backgro und might be schooled in order to help with the family business or to acquire li teracy skills that enabled them to work as scribes and secretaries.[46] The woma n who achieved the greatest prominence in the ancient world for her learning was Hypatia of Alexandria, who taught advanced courses to young men and advised the Roman prefect of Egypt on politics. Her influence put her into conflict with th e bishop of Alexandria, Cyril, who may have been implicated in her violent death in the year 415 at the hands of a Christian mob.[47]

Roman law recognized rape as a crime in which the victim bore no guilt.[48] Rape was a capital crime.[49] The right to physical integrity was fundamental to the Roman concept of citizenship, as indicated in Roman legend by the rape of Lucre tia by the king's son. After speaking out against the tyranny of the royal famil y, Lucretia killed herself as a political and moral protest. Roman authors saw h er self-sacrifice as the catalyst for overthrowing the monarchy and establishing the republic.[50] As a matter of law, rape could be committed only against a ci tizen in good standing. The rape of a slave could be prosecuted only as damage t o her owner's property.[51] Most prostitutes in ancient Rome were slaves, though some slaves were protected from forced prostitution by a clause in their sales contract.[52] A free woman who worked as a prostitute or entertainer lost her so cial standing and became infamis, "disreputable"; by making her body publicly av ailable, she had in effect surrendered her right to be protected from sexual abu se or physical violence.[53] Attitudes toward rape changed as the empire came un der Christian rule. St. Augustine and other Church Fathers interpreted Lucretia' s suicide as perhaps an admission that she had encouraged the rapist and experie nced pleasure.[54] Under Constantine, the first Christian emperor, if a father a ccused a man of abducting his daughter, but the daughter had given her consent t o an elopement, the couple were both subject to being burnt alive. If she had be en raped or abducted against her will, she was still subject to lesser penalties as an accomplice, "on the grounds that she could have saved herself by screamin g for help."[55] Religious scriptures Bible Main article: Women in the Bible "And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living." Genesis 3:20) "Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, she judged Israel at that time." (Judges 4:4) God chose a woman, Deborah, to guide Israel. "Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her." (John 20:18) The first person t o see Jesus after his crucifixion was a woman, Mary. Qur'an See also: Early reforms under Islam, Women in Islam, Islamic feminism, and Sex s egregation and Islam The Qur'an, revealed to Muhammad over the course of 23 years, provide guidance t o the Islamic community and modified existing customs in Arab society. From 610 and 661, known as the early reforms under Islam, the Qur'an introduced fundament al reforms to customary law and introduced rights for women in marriage, divorce and inheritance. By providing that the wife, not her family, would receive a do wry from the husband, which she could administer as her personal property, the Q ur'an made women a legal party to the marriage contract.[citation needed] While in customary law inheritance was limited to male descendents, the Qur'an i ntroduced rules on inheritance with certain fixed shares being distributed to de signated heirs, first to the nearest female relatives and then the nearest male relatives.[56] According to Annemarie Schimmel "compared to the pre-Islamic posi tion of women, Islamic legislation meant an enormous progress; the woman has the right, at least according to the letter of the law, to administer the wealth sh e has brought into the family or has earned by her own work."[57] The general improvement of the status of Arab women included prohibition of fema le infanticide and recognizing women's full personhood.[58] Women were generally given greater rights than women in pre-Islamic Arabia[59][60] and medieval Euro pe.[61] Women were not accorded with such legal status in other cultures until c enturies later.[62] According to Professor William Montgomery Watt, when seen in such historical context, Muhammad "can be seen as a figure who testified on beh alf of women s rights."[63] The Middle Ages According to English Common Law, which developed from the 12th century onward, a ll property which a wife held at the time of a marriage became a possession of h er husband. Eventually English courts forbade a husband's transferring property

without the consent of his wife, but he still retained the right to manage it an d to receive the money which it produced. French married women suffered from res trictions on their legal capacity which were removed only in 1965.[64] In the 16 th century, the Reformation in Europe allowed more women to add their voices, in cluding the English writers Jane Anger, Aemilia Lanyer, and the prophetess Anna Trapnell. English and American Quakers believed that men and women were equal. M any Quaker women were preachers.[65] Despite relatively greater freedom for Angl o-Saxon women, until the mid-19th century, writers largely assumed that a patria rchal order was a natural order that had always existed.[66] This perception was not seriously challenged until the 18th century when Jesuit missionaries found matrilineality in native North American peoples.[67] 18th and 19th century Europe The Debutante (1807) by Henry Fuseli; The woman, victim of male social conventio ns, is tied to the wall, made to sew and guarded by governesses. The picture ref lects Mary Wollstonecraft's views in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, publi shed in 1792.[68] Starting in the late 18th century, and throughout the 19th century, rights, as a concept and claim, gained increasing political, social and philosophical import ance in Europe. Movements emerged which demanded freedom of religion, the abolit ion of slavery, rights for women, rights for those who did not own property and universal suffrage.[69] In the late 18th century the question of women's rights became central to political debates in both France and Britain. At the time some of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment, who defended democratic principl es of equality and challenged notions that a privileged few should rule over the vast majority of the population, believed that these principles should be appli ed only to their own gender and their own race. The philosopher Jean Jacques Rou sseau for example thought that it was the order of nature for woman to obey men. He wrote "Women do wrong to complain of the inequality of man-made laws" and cl aimed that "when she tries to usurp our rights, she is our inferior".[70] First page of the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen In 1791 the French playwright and political activist Olympe de Gouges published the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen,[71] modelled on t he Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789. The Declaration is ironic in formulation and exposes the failure of the French Revolution, which had been devoted to equality. It states that: This revolution will only take eff ect when all women become fully aware of their deplorable condition, and of the rights they have lost in society . The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen follows the seventeen articles of the Declaration of the Rights o f Man and of the Citizen point for point and has been described by Camille Naish as almost a parody...of the original document . The first article of the Declarati on of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen proclaims that Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be based only on common utili ty. The first article of Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citize n replied: Woman is born free and remains equal to man in rights. Social distinct ions may only be based on common utility . De Gouges expands the sixth article of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which declared the righ ts of citizens to take part in the formation of law, to: Australian women's rights were lampooned in this 1887 Melbourne Punch cartoon: A hypothetical female member foists her baby's care on the House Speaker All citizens including women are equally admissible to all public dignities, offi ces and employments, according to their capacity, and with no other distinction than that of their virtues and talents . De Gouges also draws attention to the fact that under French law women were full y punishable, yet denied equal rights.[72]

Mary Wollstonecraft, a British writer and philosopher, published A Vindication o f the Rights of Woman in 1792, arguing that it was the education and upbringing of women that created limited expectations.[73][74] Wollstonecraft attacked gend er oppression, pressing for equal educational opportunities, and demanded "justi ce!" and "rights to humanity" for all.[75] Wollstonecraft, along with her Britis h contemporaries Damaris Cudworth and Catherine Macaulay started to use the lang uage of rights in relation to women, arguing that women should have greater oppo rtunity because like men, they were moral and rational beings.[76] A Punch cartoon from 1867 mocking John Stuart Mill's attempt to replace the term 'man' with 'person', i.e. give women the right to vote. Caption: Mill's Logic: Or, Franchise for Females. "Pray clear the way, there, for these a persons."[77] In his 1869 essay The Subjection of Women the English philosopher and political theorist John Stuart Mill described the situation for women in Britain as follow s: "We are continually told that civilization and Christianity have restored to the woman her just rights. Meanwhile the wife is the actual bondservant of her husb and; no less so, as far as the legal obligation goes, than slaves commonly so ca lled." Then a member of parliament, Mill argued that women should be given the right to vote, though his proposal to replace the term "man" with "person" in the second Reform Bill of 1867 was greeted with laughter in the House of Commons and defea ted by 76 to 196 votes. His arguments won little support amongst contemporaries[ 77] but his attempt to amend the reform bill generated greater attention for the issue of women's suffrage in Britain.[78] Initially only one of several women s r ights campaigns, suffrage became the primary cause of the British women s movement at the beginning of the 20th century.[79] At the time the ability to vote was r estricted to wealthy property owners within British jurisdictions. This arrangem ent implicitly excluded women as property law and marriage law gave men ownershi p rights at marriage or inheritance until the 19th century. Although male suffra ge broadened during the century, women were explicitly prohibited from voting na tionally and locally in the 1830s by a Reform Act and the Municipal Corporations Act.[80] Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst led the public campaign on wo men's suffrage and in 1918 a bill was passed allowing women over the age of 30 t o vote.[80] Equal employment rights for women and men The rights of women and men to have equal pay and equal benefits for equal work were openly denied by the British Hong Kong Government up to the early 1970s. Le slie Wah-Leung Chung (???, 1917-2009), President of the Hong Kong Chinese Civil Servants Association ???????[81] (1965 68), contributed to the establishment of equ al pay for men and women, including the right for married women to be permanent employees. Before this, the job status of a woman changed from permanent employe e to temporary employee once she was married, thus losing the pension benefit. S ome of them even lost their jobs. Since nurses were mostly women, this improveme nt of the rights of married women meant much to the Nursing profession.[6][7][82 ][83][84][85][86][87] Suffrage, the right to vote

Women standing in line to vote in Bangladesh. 1919 election poster, German social democrats. "Frauen! Gleiche Rechte, Gleiche Pflichten" ("Women! The same rights, the same duties") Main article: Women's suffrage

Author and Scholar Helen Kendrick Johnson opposed women's suffrage. During the 19th century some women began to agitate for the right to vote and pa rticipate in government and law making.[88] Other women opposed suffrage like He len Kendrick Johnson, whose prescient 1897 work Woman and the Republic contains perhaps the best arguments against women's suffrage of the time.[89] The ideals of women's suffrage developed alongside that of universal suffrage and today wom en's suffrage is considered a right (under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). During the 19th century the right to vote was gradually extended in many countries and women started to campaign for their right to vote. In 1893 New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote on a national level. Australia gave women the right to vote i n 1902.[78] A number of Nordic countries gave women the right to vote in the ear ly 20th century Finland (1906), Norway (1913), Denmark and Iceland (1915). With the end of the First World War many other countries followed the Netherlands (19 17), Austria, Azerbaijan,[90] Canada, Czechoslovakia, Georgia, Poland and Sweden (1918), Germany and Luxembourg (1919), and the United States (1920). Spain gave women the right to vote in 1931, France in 1944, Belgium, Italy, Romania and Yu goslavia in 1946. Switzerland gave women the right to vote in 1971, and Liechten stein in 1984.[78] In Latin America some countries gave women the right to vote in the first half o f the 20th century Ecuador (1929), Brazil (1932), El Salvador (1939), Dominican Republic (1942), Guatemala (1956) and Argentina (1946). In India, under colonial rule, universal suffrage was granted in 1935. Other Asian countries gave women the right to vote in the mid 20th century Japan (1945), China (1947) and Indones ia (1955). In Africa, women generally got the right to vote along with men throu gh universal suffrage Liberia (1947), Uganda (1958) and Nigeria (1960). In many countries in the Middle East universal suffrage was acquired after the Second Wo rld War, although in others, such as Kuwait, suffrage is very limited.[78] On 16 May 2005, the Parliament of Kuwait extended suffrage to women by a 35 23 vote.[91 ] Property rights During the 19th century some women in the United States and Britain began to cha llenge laws that denied them the right to their property once they married. Unde r the common law doctrine of coverture husbands gained control of their wives' r eal estate and wages. Beginning in the 1840s, state legislatures in the United S tates[92] and the British Parliament[93] began passing statutes that protected w omen's property from their husbands and their husbands' creditors. These laws we re known as the Married Women's Property Acts.[94] Courts in the 19th-century Un ited States also continued to require privy examinations of married women who so ld their property. A privy examination was a practice in which a married woman w ho wished to sell her property had to be separately examined by a judge or justi ce of the peace outside of the presence of her husband and asked if her husband was pressuring her into signing the document.[95] Modern movements The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk pa ge. (December 2010) Iraqi-American writer and activist Zainab Salbi, the founder of Women for Women International. In the subsequent decades women's rights again became an important issue in the English speaking world. By the 1960s the movement was called "feminism" or "wome n's liberation." Reformers wanted the same pay as men, equal rights in law, and the freedom to plan their families or not have children at all. Their efforts we re met with mixed results.[96] In the UK, a public groundswell of opinion in favour of legal equality had gaine

d pace, partly through the extensive employment of women in what were traditiona l male roles during both world wars. By the 1960s the legislative process was be ing readied, tracing through MP Willie Hamilton's select committee report, his e qual pay for equal work bill,[97] the creation of a Sex Discrimination Board, La dy Sear's draft sex anti-discrimination bill, a government Green Paper of 1973, until 1975 when the first British Sex Discrimination Act, an Equal Pay Act, and an Equal Opportunities Commission came into force.[98][99] With encouragement fr om the UK government, the other countries of the EEC soon followed suit with an agreement to ensure that discrimination laws would be phased out across the Euro pean Community. In the USA, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was created in 1966 with t he purpose of bringing about equality for all women. NOW was one important group that fought for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). This amendment stated that "e quality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United St ates or any state on account of sex."[100] But there was disagreement on how the proposed amendment would be understood. Supporters believed it would guarantee women equal treatment. But critics feared it might deny women the right be finan cially supported by their husbands. The amendment died in 1982 because not enoug h states had ratified it. ERAs have been included in subsequent Congresses, but have still failed to be ratified.[101] In Ukraine, FEMEN was founded in 2008. The organisation is internationally known for its topless protests against sex tourists, international marriage agencies, sexism and other social, national and international social illnesses. FEMEN has sympathisers groups in many European countries through social media.

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