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Think the US Leads on Women's Rights? UN Experts Say Think Again


Think the US Leads on Women's Rights? UN Experts Say Think Again

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

A 10-day United Nations fact-finding mission in the U.S., which took a group of experts to Alabama, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, D.C., paints a dismal picture of "women's missing rights" in critical areas including healthcare, political representation, reproductive rights, and economic well-being.

"The United States, as economic leader of the world, lags behind in providing a safety net and a decent life for those of its women who do not have access to independent wealth, high salaries or economic support from a partner or family."
—UN Working Group


Consider where the US stands on human rights in whole, and then consider how this generation of liberals carefully picks and chooses which human rights deserve protection. This goes beyond the obvious abuses at Gitmo, in our prisons, etc.

The greatest irony of my lifetime: While liberals were all excited about the anniversary of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1990s), Democrats were implementing their welfare "reform," which directly violates the UDHR -- to the polite applause of liberals. According to this international human rights agreement, food and shelter are fundamental human rights. This generation said "No," and we ended the human rights of our desperately poor. (Evidently, liberals so strongly believe in the success of the corporate state that they think everyone is able to work, there are jobs for all, therefore no need for poverty relief.) Bill Clinton's welfare "reform" package strips away a number of civil and human rights of the poor, and liberals have been fine with this.

Women's rights? Which women? The great majority of US poor are white, and the majority of these are women. If you walk into any business that pays bottom wages, you will find that nearly all of their workers are women. And we can note that women have played a strong role in our war against the poor.


Is there any woman in the U.S. who thinks this? I left the U.S. in '73, and vowed to stay away until we ratified CEDAW. I came back in '01, and still no CEDAW. In our failure to ratify, we are aligned with these other bastions of female suppression: Iran, Palau, Somalia, Sudan, and Tonga. Our shameful lack of paid maternity leave prevails also in only Papua New Guinea and Oman. Our unequal pay remains at 77% since the '70s. Need I elaborate? No, we do not think this, and we are not amused

What is the answer? If, indeed, the restoration of gender equity is the sine qua non for our survival, as many aver, how can we achieve it? Looking back over history, there have been societies which assured peace and prosperity for all, and they were often lead by (or prominently advised by) women. If the Founding Fathers, who modeled our government on that of the Iroquois Confederacy, had listened to the advice of the female, as well as the male, elders, we would now have the fourth house of government, consisting of post-menopausal women, which allowed them to incorporate women's voices so successfully.

It is not too late to restore gender equity, and alter the unsustainable trajectory, imposed upon us by the patriarchy. My forthcoming book, "OUR FUTURE IS FEMALE-- How Women [and Men} Will Save the World," details (why and) how. --Nai`a NEWLIGHT