Grave violations of women's human rights continue to occur worldwide with terrifying regularity. Women throughout the world face systematic gender-based discrimination in laws, policies and practices that deny them equal rights as human beings. In many countries, women are regularly denied the right to life and security of person, full legal capacity, health care, education, employment, inheritance and freedom of movement. Women still do not have full access to economic and political decision-making processes in their families, their nations or international institutions. Too often, governments allow crimes against women to go unpunished, continuing a culture of impunity for family members, state agents and others who discriminate against or commit violence against women. At the same time, the voices of women's rights groups combating such violations face enormous obstacles in reaching national and international decision-making institutions.
For more than a decade, IHRLG has been a leading organization in the international human rights movement promoting women's human rights. IHRLG has affected the development and implementation of international standards for the protection of women's human rights through direct advocacy in watershed international fora including the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, Austria; the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995); and the 2001 World Conference Against Racism. IHRLG has also played a leading role in the drawing attention to violations of women's human rights in the name of religion or custom, incorporating gender-based crimes into the 1998 International Criminal Court Treaty, drafting the 1999 Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, and developing the human rights standards for the treatment of trafficked persons stipulated by the 2000 International Protocol Against Trafficking.
IHRLG launched our Women's Rights Advocacy Program (WRAP) in 1992 to ensure that women's human rights are integrated into all IHRLG programs. Our Washington-based WRAP staff provide gender training for IHRLG staff and act as internal consultants and advisors in the development of IHRLG projects that amplify the voices of local women's rights activists in international fora (such as the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the UN Commission on Human Rights and the Organization of American States) to strengthen the capacity of these activists to call on governments and international institutions to respond to women's experiences. We also help women's rights activists use legal strategies and international human rights standards to make national governments accountable for violations of women's human rights and take responsibility for improving women's lives.
IHRLG's current areas of women's rights advocacy include
Promoting women's economic rights
Addressing violations of women's rights in the name of traditional, culture or religion
Supporting women in conflict and post-conflict situations
Our current women's rights advocacy projects include in-country programs in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Morocco and Yemen and an Initiative Against Trafficking in Persons.
For more information contact WRAP@hrlawgroup.org.