Women's Rights

Women’s Rights: This is an informational bulletin that can be used in clubs, classrooms, meetings, shared with friends and family, or just simply for your own education. There are sections on: definitions, videos, statistics, articles, resources and questions to think about. We hope that this information is useful for your community.


 

What are Women’s Rights?

Women’s Rights are the fundamental human rights that every person has when they’re born, and that cannot be taken away. They are no different than any other rights granted to any other group, but women and girls around the world are still being denied these natural rights because of their gender. The violation of these rights occurs at cultural, institutional, and individual levels. The goal of the Women’s Rights movement is to promote and achieve systematic and social equality of women to men.

Definitions to Consider

Prejudice: A judgment or belief that is formed on insufficient grounds before facts are known or in disregard of facts that contradict it. Prejudices are learned and can be unlearned.

Discrimination: The unequal allocation of goods, resources, and services, and the limitation of access to full participation in society based on individual membership in a particular social group; reinforced by law, policy, and cultural norms that allow for differential treatment on the basis of identity.

Social Power: Access to resources that enhance one’s chances of getting what one needs in order to lead a comfortable, productive and safe life.

Oppression: When an agent group, whether knowingly or unknowingly, abuses a target group. This pervasive system is rooted historically and maintained through individual and institutional/ systematic discrimination, personal bias, bigotry, and social prejudice, resulting in a condition of privilege for the agent group at the expense of the target group.

Sexism: The individual, cultural, and institutional beliefs and discrimination that systematically oppress women.

Misogyny: Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.

Feminism: The advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

Videos

Below are videos varying from significant landmarks in the women’s rights movement to TED Talks that examine gender inequality in our current society. These videos help us gain a well-rounded view of the women’s rights movement and its impact on our society.

This examines women’s rights achievements from 1900 to 2016. https://youtu.be/VstMwQkeF4w

This gives a detailed account of the first convention for Women’s Rights, the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. https://youtu.be/TcYhuG1y3bc

This is Sunni Patterson performing her poem “Wild Women” at a TED Convention. https://www.ted.com/talks/sunni_patterson_wild_women?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

This is the founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke, speaking about the movement at TEDWomen. https://www.ted.com/talks/tarana_burke_me_too_is_a_movement_not_a_moment?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

This is Laura Bates discussing everyday sexism at TEDxCoventGardenWomen. https://youtu.be/LhjsRjC6B8U

Articles/Handouts

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/19/business/sexism-women-birthplace-workplace.html

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/12/14/gender-discrimination-comes-in-many-forms-for-todays-working-women/

https://www.aclu.org/blog/human-rights/human-rights-and-womens-rights/30-years-fighting-discrimination-against-women-its

http://theconversation.com/us/topics/gender-discrimination-7227

http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/genderbias.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/gender-inequality-in-the-workplace-is-not-just-a-womens-issue/2018/01/26/342d6fa4-ebf1-11e7-b698-91d4e35920a3_story.html?utm_term=.d8abb204c269

Questions to Ponder

  • Where does inequality still exist between men and women?
  • Consider the intersection of other identities (sexuality, race, class) with identifying as a woman and how they interact with each other.
  • What are we socialized to believe about the roles of men and women in cases of sexual violence?
  • How does the wage gap exemplify systemic inequality between men and women?