Human Rights Day 2013: What It Means For Women, Pregnant Mothers, and Me
“Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself.” ~Robert Ingersoll
We live in a rather cozy and safe country. Yes, we have our bouts of heinous tragedies, and on any given day, countless acts of violence occur. But overall, we are far safer and enjoy far more rights and freedoms than many other areas in the world.
So when we hear things like “Human Rights Day,” it can seem a bit foreign to us. Most of us reading this live comfortable enough lives — heck, you obviously have Internet and that’s more than can be said by 2/3 of the world’s population, which has no Internet access at all.
But human rights is a topic that should concern us all. Especially as women. Especially as pregnant women. And, for me, especially as a gay woman.
Women have historically been without rights and protections. In fact, it’s only been since the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action in 1993 — 20 years ago — that “women’s rights are now acknowledged as fundamental human rights. [And that] discrimination and acts of violence against women are at the forefront of the human rights discourse.” (SOURCE) Since the establishment of the first Human Rights Day, international law has adopted explicit protections for women.
It seems an obvious enough thing to us in America: that women would have — that we should have — rights that protect us from violence, oppression, torture, slavery, and countless other actions we view as crimes in this country. And while there are many laws in place to safeguard us, bad things still happen. But we have a better chance of protection and a better chance at justice than so many other women around the world.
That shouldn’t make us complacent.
It might be easy to think of human rights as a “foreign issue,” but human rights affect pregnant women — not only worldwide, but here in America, as well.
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