Every day, in every country, gender justices are always triggered as discriminatory. Witnessing situations like violence, abuse and unequal treatment either at work, at home and in such other wider communities.
Women form the majority of those battling with gender injustices. They consider themselves in the hub of less power and fewer resources, as compared to men.
Inequality emerges through the fact of women's ethnicity, religion, race and age, and other fundamentalism.
For over thirty years, the recognition of women's human rights has been a focus for international activism. To confront tolerance of myriad forms of violence against women, campaigns are also organized which have been successful in maintaining the position of women on to the international stage.
What is Gender Justice?
Gender justice is a human right, signifying that every women is entitled to live life in peace, dignity and freedom, without any fear. Gender Justice is indispensable peripheries of poverty reduction and also is crucial to achieving human progress.\nGender Justice: A Historical Perspective
Civilized society has always been with an agenda of respect towards human rights and consider it as a basic condition for the survival of human beings. The United Nations for human rights defines human rights \"those rights that are inherent in our nature and without which we cannot live as human beings.\" Such rights relate to equality, liberty and life of a person, with equal protection under law, free from all forms of discrimination etc. Human rights have raised the empowerment in every individual. The American Independence Movement of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789 were inspired by the ideas of natural rights and both movements were sought to challenge governments that curtailed the natural rights of the people.
It was during the French Revolution in 1789 that natural rights were elevated to the status of legal rights with the formulation of the \'Declaration of Rights of Man\'. Another bill which has also incorporated the human rights is The American Bill of Rights\' in 1791.
The above conception of natural rights was deployed in several political and social movements through the nineteenth century.
The league of nations in 1991 faced criticism. Its failure to promote peace was evident with the outbreak of World War II, resulting in its dissolution in 1946. \'The International Labour Organization\' (ILO) established in 1919 sought to promote social justice. In 1946, ILO became the first specialized agency to the United Nations. However, it happened only aftermath of the Second World War, when the importance to acknowledge and safeguard human rights were articulated at the global level in the form of the \'Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948\'.\nInternational Development
The objective at international platform is \"to promote gender equality in all spheres of life, including family and community life, and to encourage and enable men to take responsibility for their sexual behavior and family roles.\"
Development as a concept, although rooted in a long history of colonialism and imperialism, came into being to mark out the West from the ‘underdeveloped’ in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.
An Earth Summit, basically the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, included gender issues in Agenda 21. The World Conference on Human Rights, held in Vienna in 1993, also made a significant progress in introducing the rights of women and girl-children as an integral and indivisible part of universal human rights. This principle was again taken up by the International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo in 1994. Discussions and debates focused on gender issues, stressing the empowerment of women for equitable development.
The World Summit for Social Development, held in Copenhagen in 1995, took gender equity as the massive strategy for economic, social development and environmental protection. The Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing, 1995 which incarnate the importance of drawing up an agenda to strengthen the status of women and adopting a declaration of an action claiming to overcome the barriers to gender equity and guaranteeing women\'s active participation in all spheres of life.\nGender Development: International Perspective
A formalized attempt to establish principles of gender justice has been found in the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 1999 which makes the absence of gender discrimination as the indicator of gender justice. CEDAW\'s \'discrimination against women\' in Article 1 of the Convention is:
\"The term \'discrimination against women\' shall mean any distinction, exclusion, or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect 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.\"
The policy makers acted as mindful in major aspects of gender functions and some specific needs of men and women. When the development policies are to be sustainable, the consideration must be given to existing gender disparities in poverty, employment, health, education and decision-making bodies.
Studies have revealed an increase in feminized poverty. The poverty line has increased between 1970 and 1980, with less number of women living as compared to men. Poverty, simply defined as a lack of sufficient resources to ensure sustainable living conditions. It often goes hand-in-hand with hunger, poor health, malnourishment and morbidity rates, insufficient education and unhealthy housing.
Strong reason for the endurance of female poverty is gender vulnerability within the home. Where poor families cannot afford education for their girl children, parents favor in investing for boy-children and keeping the girls at home to help with domestic work or some household activity.
Health and nutrition
Considering biologically, men and women have different health needs. Mens are more likely to be the victims of accidents at work, occupational diseases, smoking and other forms of abuses. It has been noted in Europe, North America and some countries of Latin America where, women\'s life expectancy is much greater than men\'s.
The major outbreak in gender disparities among children is due to social constraints and lack of resources in terms of nutrition and mortality. The opposite sexes never receive equal attention and care.
Witnessing the country\'s lower literacy rate, where women are more illiterate than men in numbers.
Major illiteracy rates arise from rural areas of country. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimated that only 41 percent of women in developing countries are illiterate, as compared to men.
Some stereotypes have created differences between female and male headed households bearing how to run a family; raising children; and nutrition. Ironically, whosoever bears the responsibility of family income is usually elected as the head of household, which eventually make men a head of the family. Despite of fact, that women is equally employed and eligible to be head of the family.\nInternational Conventions on Gender Justice
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, not a treaty in itself but defines ‘fundamental freedoms’.(Article 16).
- The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 ( Article 3, Article 23).
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 (Article 7).
- The Declaration on Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993 (Article 14).
- Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (Article 1, 11(1), 22, 24).
Strategic approach for Gender Justice
A strategic designed way shall be opted to achieve a satisfactory level of living standards, food security, and eradicate poverty among rural women and families in order to secure sustainable development.
Some objectives are:
- Introducing some policies and projects that would improve rural women\'s access and put possible control over excess use of resources;
- Foster some awareness and promote the participation of women in regional and national regulatory bodies;
- Enhance rural women\'s income generating opportunities and access to education and lucrative agricultural occupations.