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"Millions of women around the world
will be born, live and die,
and never know they have human rights."
-- Ivanka Corti, former Chairperson of CEDAW

Women's Passport to Dignity

The Beijing Platform for Action is a document about human rights for women's dignity. Every injustice that women suffer is a human rights violation. Each of the Critical Areas of Concern raises issues involving fundamental human rights of women, including human rights to public and private non-discrimination, freedom from poverty, sustainable economic and social development, and full and equal participation in power and decision-making. These human rights have been made explicit in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and widely-ratified human rights treaties including the International Covenants and CEDAW. They have also been the subject of far-reaching commitments made by governments at World Conferences in Rio, Vienna, Cairo, Copenhagen and Istanbul.

Human rights norms and standards could serve as powerful tools in efforts to implement the Beijing Platform for Action. But if women do not know their human rights, they cannot claim their human rights. This project, Women's Passport to Dignity, seeks to empower women in their efforts to implement the Beijing Platform through human rights education. The Passport will:

  • illustrate the links between human rights and each of the Beijing PFA's Critical Areas of Concern;
  • provide discussion of and excerpts from human rights treaties relevant to the PFA Objectives;
  • call attention to governmental commitments made at world conferences to ensuring realization of fundamental human rights for all women;
  • provide inspiration to women by illustrating with examples from all over the world how others have used the human rights framework to foster change in their lives and their communities

Women's Passport to Dignity seeks to mobilize women to act on their own behalf. Awareness of their human rights will give women the power to insist that their governments fulfill their commitments to human rights made at Beijing and elsewhere. It will strengthen the voice with which women can demand their governments' compliance with human rights norms and standards.

We call on you to participate by sharing your case studies to enrich this publication!

The Beijing Platform and Women's Human Rights -- a preliminary analysis


For more information, please contact PDHRE:
The People's Movement for Human Rights Education, 526 West 111th Street, New York, NY 10025
tel: 212.749-3156; fax: 212.666-6325; e-mail: pdhre@igc.org