On May 10th, 2006, the Constitutional Court of Colombia made a historic decision, overturning the nation’s total ban on abortion, and ruling that abortions would now be permitted in the most extreme cases: “when the life of a mother was in danger or the fetus was expected to die or in cases of rape or incest.” This unprecedented case was the first to challenge a domestic abortion law using the United Nation’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
This document contains a brief introduction to the different legal tools, international instruments and strategic contexts through which the advancement of women worldwide can be facilitated, and how the Global Justice Center is helping to achieve this goal.
The United States signed CEDAW in 1980, but it has not yet ratified the Convention. Proponents of ratification argue that the U.S.’ failure to ratify CEDAW hurts American efforts, by both the government and private organizations, to promote human rights. Although the Global Justice Center agrees, we urge organizations committed to promoting true gender equality not to support ratification accompanied by the sort of "understanding" added by Senator Helms in 1994.1 The compromises made by the addition of the Helms "understanding" sacrificed the core concepts of CEDA W. This dangerous "understanding" resurrects the discriminatory fallacy of biology as destiny and promotes the agenda of those who would find laws severely restricting or even criminalizing abortion to be perfectly compatible with "women's rights" and "equality."
There is growing consensus in international law that grave violations of international humanitarian law are a threat to international peace and security and that the world community has a moral and legal duty to intervene if the state is the perpetrator, or cannot or will not stop the crimes. Perpetrators of gender-based crimes must be held accountable in order to ensure a rule of law based on gender equality.
Facilitating Collaboration in Darfur: Organizations Working with Women in Darfur, Sudan on Sexual Violence and the Rule of Law
The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan has led to an increase in the activities of international organizations working towards humanitarian relief, international protection, and international justice. In addition to grassroots organizations that have been working in Sudan to promote women’s rights in their local communities, many organizations are devoting countless time and resources to upholding and pro-tecting the rights of women in Darfur to be free from violence and gain access to justice. To that end, the Global Justice Center has assembled this directory of organizations working with women in Darfur, Sudan. The organizations surveyed in this directory provide a range of services for women. From subsidizing basic needs, to documenting rape cases, to enabling women to take active part in the peace process, these organizations are encouraging women to assume their rightful place in Sudanese society. The support provided by the contributing organizations is vital to Sudanese women at this crucial time in their history and the Global Justice Center is pleased to contribute to these efforts by providing this directory. We hope it will be a useful resource to the international NGO community, to Sudanese civil society and to the women of Darfur. We also hope it facilitates collaboration and communication among these organizations and ultimately, help us all to better serve the women and girls in Darfur.
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- Frequently Asked Questions About Burma and the International Criminal Court
- Advancing the Legal Enforcement of SCR 1325: Structural and Political Obstacles Imposed by the United Nations
- The Use of CEDAW to Invalidate Discriminatory Laws and Promote Gender Equality