Social Change and Social Policy

Mark Anthony D. Abenir, MCD
Department of Social Sciences University of Santo Tomas

1. Categories of Human Rights 2. General Information Regarding the UN CEDAW 3. Conditions that led to CEDAW 4. Key Themes of CEDAW 5. Challenges to CEDAW

Categories of Human Rights

Civil & Political Rights
• Known as the “1st generational rights” since it was the 1st one to be given recognition as belonging to every individual.  Civil Rights – refer to a person’s right to live his/her own private life – including the right to get married, to raise one’s family, to own property, enjoy privacy, express oneself & worship according to one’s belief.  Political Rights – refer to the individual’s right to participate in governance – such as vote, run for office, & express grievances to the State.

Socio-Economic & Socio-Cultural Rights
• Known as the “2nd generational rights.”  Socio-Economic Rights – refer to a person’s right to work, employment opportunities, free choice of profession, and equal remuneration.  Socio-Cultural Rights – refer to right of everyone to:  Take part in cultural life.  Enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its application.  Benefit from the protection of the material interest resulting from any scientific literacy or artistic production as authors.

Collective or Group Rights
• Known as the “3rd generational rights.” This rests on a primary consideration of the welfare of the community over and above the interest of particular individuals. Right to development and Right to self-determination.

General Info Regarding the CEDAW

CEDAW in a Nutshell
• Is a legally binding international human rights agreement of States on women’s human rights. It has a total of 30 articles. • It was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 18, 1979. • Ratified by the Philippines on August 5, 1981 and it entered into force on September 3, 1981. • As of March 2006, a total of 182 countries have ratified the convention.

CEDAW in a Nutshell
• It requires State Parties to recognize the important economic and social contributions of women to the family and society. • It stresses the need for a change in attitude, through education of both men and women, to accept equality of rights and responsibilities and to overcome prejudice and practices based on gender stereotypes.

Conditions that led to CEDAW

Why Women’s Human Rights?
• All countries are structured by patriarchal mentality, civil and political rights were designed to regulate the relations between “men” and the State, the standard for being human is male – the females per se became the “other and invisible.” • Eventually, women broke their silence and invisibility through the courage of individual women and through the organized and collective efforts of women’s movements – feminism. • CEDAW recognizes that even if women are given legal equality (de jure) this does not automatically guarantee that they will in reality be treated equally (de facto). Through CEDAW, States are permitted to use special measures to combat such inequalities, especially in the private sphere.

Global Situation of Women
As of 2008: • 1.3 billion people are in poverty, 70% of whom are women. • 60 million girls are missing due to sex selective abortions mostly in Asia. • One in three women and girls had been beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. • Between 100 to 140 million girls have been forced to undergo Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Every year, 2 million more are at risk of suffering the procedure.

Global Situation of Women
As of 2008: • Rape as a tool of war is still pervasive in many conflict areas such as Rwanda, Myanmar, etc. • 80% of the 23 million refugees in the world are women and children. • Women now account for almost half of all cases of HIV-AIDS in Africa and young women are at risk of contracting AIDS than young men.

Philippine Situation of Women
• Domestic violence (wife battering) and rape are the highest recorded incidents of violence against women. • Thousands of women and girls are trafficked for prostitution and forced labor to Japan, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Marianas. • Half of all employed women are in the informal sector of the economy where they engage in hazardous, unprotected, and unregulated work.

Philippine Situation of Women
• Women are more prone to labor flexibilization – lower wages, substandard working condition, inadequate maternity, health and other benefits, and the first one to be removed from the job. • There is pervasive sexual division of labor – men are trained to be executives, managers, and supervisors while women are trained in clerical and personal services. • AS of 2011, women continue to have limited participation in politics, judiciary, and governance – 3 out of 24 senators, 45 out 215 house representatives, 3 out of 15 justices, 5 out of 27 cabinet secretaries.

Key Themes of CEDAW

Definition of Discrimination
Article 1 Discrimination against women shall mean any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil, or any other field.

Core Principles of CEDAW
Equality of Equality of Outcomes Opportunity
All persons should enjoy all human rights on an equal basis, and in their totality. Men and women equally enjoy and exercise all fundamental rights and freedoms. Since women have specific biological needs different to men, and gender stereotypes are pervasive which puts women at a disadvantage, States should address these biological needs and at the same time eliminate discrimination against women.

Dimensions of CEDAW
Civil, Political, Economic, and Social Rights

Cultural Factors on Gender Relations

Human Reproduction

Civil, Political, Economic, and Social Rights
Article 7: Political & Public Life Governments will work to eliminate discrimination against women in political and public life and will ensure women the right to vote, hold office and actively participate in political parties, lobby groups and NGOs.

Civil, Political, Economic, and Social Rights
Article 8: Participation at the International Level Governments will take action to ensure women the opportunity to represent their government at the international level and participate in international organizations. Article 9: Nationality Governments will grant women equal rights to change or retain their nationality and that of their children.

Civil, Political, Economic, and Social Rights
Article 11: Employment Governments will eliminate discrimination against women in the workplace. Women will have the same employment rights as men as well as maternity leave and special protection against harmful work during pregnancy.

Civil, Political, Economic, and Social Rights
Article 13: Economic Life, Sport and Culture Governments will act to eliminate discrimination against women in the economic and social arenas. Women will have equal access to family benefits, loans and credit, and an equal right to participate in recreational activities, sports and cultural life.

Civil, Political, Economic, and Social Rights
Article 14: Rural Women Governments will ensure that the particular needs of rural women are met in relation to access to services, training and employment opportunities and social equity schemes, and act to eliminate discrimination against them.

Civil, Political, Economic, and Social Rights
Article 15: Equality before the Law Governments will give women equality with men before the law, including rights to enter contracts, administer property, appear in court or before tribunals, and to choose residence and domicile.

Human Reproduction
Article 4: Temporary Special Measures  Governments may institute affirmative action programmes to ensure women’s advancement. This will not be considered discriminatory.

Human Reproduction
Article 12: Health Care & Family Planning  Governments will eliminate discrimination against women in health care and provide them with equal access to health-care services, including family planning.

Human Reproduction
Article 16: Marriage and the Law Governments will ensure that women and men have equal rights to choose a spouse and to marry; the same rights and responsibilities within marriage and on divorce; and equal rights in all matters relating to the birth, adoption and raising of children.

Cultural Factors on Gender Relations
Article 5: Sex Roles & Stereotyping Governments will strive to eliminate cultural and traditional practices that perpetuate discrimination and gender stereotyping of women.

Cultural Factors on Gender Relations
Article 10: Equal Rights in Education Governments will act to eliminate discrimination against women in education. This includes giving women and men equal access to education and vocational guidance; the same curricula, examinations, standards for teaching and equipment; and equal access to scholarships and grants.

Challenges to CEDAW

1. Cultural Relativism & Fundamental Extremists 2. Gender-based violence 3. Reproductive and sexual health rights 4. De jure and de facto equality 5. Involvement of men in supporting CEDAW.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful