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Human Rights and Women’s Rights: A Brief History and Overview

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Title: Human Rights and Women’s Rights: A Brief History and Overview


1
Human Rights and Womens Rights A Brief History
and Overview
  • Martin Donohoe

2
History of Human Rights
  • Ancient Greeks, Romans, etc.
  • Era of Kings and Queens
  • Life short, brutal
  • Identification community vs. individuals
  • Slavery
  • Religious beliefs Judgmental vs. benevolent
    divinity

3
History of Human Rights
  • Enlightenments scientific rationalism ? Humanism
  • Democratization of reading
  • Developments in relief of suffering
  • Pain relief (aspirin, narcotics, morphine -
    isolated 1806)
  • Nitrous oxide (1773), ether anesthesia (1846)
  • Abolitionist movement

4
Declaration of Independence
  • All men are created equal, that they are
    endowed by their creator with certain unalienable
    Rights, that these are Life, Liberty, and the
    pursuit of Happiness

5
Declarations
  • French Assemblys Declaration of the Rights of
    Man and Citizen of 1789
  • Marquis de Lafayette
  • Rights are self evident and unalienable

6
Declarations
  • Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female
    Citizen of 1791
  • Olympe de Gouges (French playwright, feminist,
    and anti-slavery activist)
  • Woman is born free and lives equal to Man in her
    rights
  • De Gouges executed

7
U.S. Constitution
  • Ratified 1789
  • Terms persons, people, and electors used,
    allowing interpretation of those beings as men
    and women

8
Timeline of Womens Rights in the
U.S.(http//www.legacy98.org/timeline.html)
  • 1701 First sexually integrated jury hears cases
    in Albany, New York
  • 1769 American colonies base their laws on the
    English common law
  • summarized in the Blackstone Commentaries By
    marriage, the husband and wife are one person in
    the law? The very being and legal existence of
    the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at
    least is incorporated into that of her husband
    under whose wing  and protection she performs
    everything.

9
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1777 All states pass laws which take away womens
    right to vote
  • 1839 Mississippi grants women the right to hold
    property in their own name, with their husbands
    permission

10
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1848 Declaration of Sentiments, Seneca Falls
    Plea for the end of discrimination against women
    in all spheres of society, including the right to
    vote
  • 300 men and women sign
  • 1855 In Missouri v. Celia, a Slave, a Black woman
    is declared to be property without a right to
    defend herself against a master's act of rape

11
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1866 14th Amendment passed by Congress (ratified
    1868)
  • Right to equal representation under the law
  • The first time citizens and voters are
    defined as male in the Constitution.
  • 1869 Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
    form National Woman Suffrage Association

12
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1869 Wyoming territory passes first womens
    suffrage law
  • 1870 Women permitted to serve on Wyoming juries
  • 1870 15th Amendment ratified The right of
    citizens of the United States to vote shall not
    be denied or abridged by the United States or by
    any State on account of race, color, or previous
    condition of servitude.
  • women not specifically excluded

13
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1873 Bradwell v. Illinois U.S. Supreme Court
    rules that a state has the right to exclude a
    married woman from practicing law
  • 1875 Minor v Happersett U.S. Supreme Court
    declares that a state can prohibit a woman from
    voting. The court declares women as persons,
    but holds that they constitute a special
    category of non-voting citizens.

14
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1879 Through special Congressional legislation,
    Belva Lockwood becomes first woman admitted to
    try a case before the Supreme Court
  • 1893 Colorado first state to allow women right to
    vote
  • 1900 By now, every state has passed legislation
    modeled after New Yorks Married Womens Property
    Act (1848), granting married women some control
    over their property and earnings

15
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1908 Muller v State of Oregon Supreme Court
    upholds Oregons 10-hour workday for women
  • Legislation implies that women are physically
    weak
  • 1916 Margaret Sanger tests the validity of New
    Yorks anti-contraception law by establishing a
    clinic in Brooklyn
  • 1918 New York v. Sanger, U.S. Court of Appeals
    Sanger wins her suit to allow doctors to advise
    married patients about birth control for health
    purposes

16
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1919 Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment, originally
    written by Susan B Anthony and introduced in
    Congress in 1878, passes House and Senate and is
    sent to states for ratification
  • 1920 Nineteenth Amendment ratified The right of
    citizens of the United States to vote shall not
    be denied or abridged by the United States or by
    any State on account of sex.

17
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1923 National Womans Party proposes
    Constitutional amendment Men and women shall
    have equal rights throughout the United States
    and in every place subject to its jurisdiction.
  • 1924 Radice v. New York State court upholds law
    forbidding waitresses from working night shift
    but makes exception for entertainers and ladies'
    room attendants

18
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1925 American Indian suffrage granted by act of
    Congress
  • 1932 National Recovery Act forbids more than one
    family member from holding a government job,
    resulting in many women losing their jobs
  • 1936 Federal law prohibiting dissemination of
    contraceptive information through the mail is
    modified and birth control no longer classified
    as obscene

19
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1938 The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes
    minimum wage without regard to sex
  • 1947 Fay v. New York U.S. Supreme Court says
    women are equally qualified with men to serve on
    juries but are granted an exemption and may serve
    or not as they choose
  • 1960 FDA approves birth control pills

20
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1961 Hoyt v. Florida U.S. Supreme Court upholds
    rules adopted by the state of Florida that make
    it far less likely for women than men to be
    called for jury service on grounds that a woman
    is still regarded as the center of home and
    family life.
  • 1963 Equal Pay Act passed by Congress, promising
    equitable wages for the same work, regardless of
    the race, color, religion, national origin or sex
    of the worker

21
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1964 Title VII of the Civil Rights Act passes
    including a prohibition against employment
    discrimination on the basis of race, color,
    religion, national origin, or sex.
  • 1965 Weeks v. Southern Bell ruling against
    restrictive labor laws and company regulations re
    hours and conditions of women's work opens many
    previously male-only jobs to women

22
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1965 Griswold v Connecticut - Supreme Court
    overturns one of the last state laws prohibiting
    the prescription or use of contraceptives by
    married couples
  • 1966 Founding of National Organization of Women
  • 1968 Executive Order 11246 prohibits sex
    discrimination by government contractors and
    requires affirmative action plans for hiring women

23
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1969 Bowe v. Colgate-Palmolive Company - Seventh
    Circuit Court of Appeals rules that women meeting
    the physical requirements can work in many jobs
    that had been for men only
  • 1969 California adopts the nations first no
    fault divorce law, allowing divorce by mutual
    consent other laws passed regarding equal
    division of common property

24
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1971 Phillips v. Martin Marietta Corporation
    U.S. Supreme Court outlaws practice of private
    employers refusing to hire women with pre-school
    children.
  • 1971 Reed v. Reed U.S. Supreme Court holds
    unconstitutional an Idaho law establishing
    automatic preference for males as administrators
    of wills

25
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1972 Title IX of the Education Amendments
    prohibits sex discrimination in all aspects of
    education programs that receive federal support
  • 1972 Eisenstadt v. Baird Supreme Court rules
    that the right to privacy encompasses an
    unmarried person's right to use contraceptives.

26
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1972 Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passed by
    Congress and sent to states for ratification
  • 1982 Ratification deadline passes (35/38 needed
    states ratify)
  • 1973 Pittsburgh Press v. Pittsburgh Commission on
    Human Relations U.S. Supreme Court bans
    sex-segregated help wanted advertising as a
    violation of Title VII

27
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court declares
    that the Constitution protects womens right to
    terminate an early pregnancy, thus making
    abortion legal in the U.S.
  • 1974 Housing discrimination on the basis of sex
    and credit discrimination against women are
    outlawed by Congress.

28
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1974 Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur
    Court determines it is illegal to force pregnant
    women to take maternity leave on the assumption
    they are incapable of working in their physical
    condition
  • 1975 Taylor v. Louisiana U.S. Supreme Court
    denies states the right to exclude women from
    juries
  • 1976 First marital rape law passed in Nebraska

29
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1976 General Elec. Co v. Gilbert Supreme Court
    upholds womens right to unemployment benefits
    during the last three months of pregnancy
  • 1976 Craig v. Boren Supreme Court declares
    unconstitutional a state law permitting 18 to
    20-year-old females to drink beer while denying
    the rights to men of the same age

30
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans employment
    discrimination against pregnant women
  • 1981 Supreme Court rules that excluding women
    from the draft is constitutional
  • 1981 Kirchberg v. Feenstra Supreme Court
    overturns state laws designating a husband head
    and master with unilateral control of property
    owned jointly with his wife

31
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1984 Roberts v. U.S. Jaycees Supreme Court
    forbids sex discrimination in membership policies
    of organizations, opening many previously
    all-male organizations to women.
  • 1984 Mississippi belatedly ratifies the 19th
    Amendment, granting women the vote
  • 1986 Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson Supreme
    Court holds that a hostile or abusive work
    environment can prove discrimination based on sex
  • Other criterion for sex discrimination quid pro
    quo

32
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1987 Johnson v. Santa Clara County Supreme Court
    rules that it is permissible to take sex and race
    into account in employment decisions even where
    there is no proven history of discrimination but
    when evidence of a manifest imbalance exists in
    the number of women or minorities holding the
    position in question
  • 1992 Planned Parenthood vs. Casey Supreme Court
    upholds womans right to abortion under Roe v.
    Wade

33
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1993 Harris v. Forklift Systems Supreme Court
    rules that victim does not need to show that she
    suffered physical or serious psychological injury
    as a result of sexual harassment
  • 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act goes into effect

34
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1994 Congress adopts Gender Equity in Education
    Act to train teachers in gender equity, promote
    math and science learning by girls, counsel
    pregnant teens, and prevent sexual harassment
  • 1994 Violence Against Women Act funds services
    for victims of rape and domestic violence, allows
    women to seek civil rights remedies for
    gender-related crimes, and provides training to
    increase police and court officials sensitivity
    and a national 24-hour hotline for battered women

35
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1996 United States v. Virginia Supreme Court
    affirms that the male-only admissions policy of
    the state-supported Virginia Military Institute
    violates the Fourteenth Amendment
  • 1997 Elaborating on Title IX, Supreme Court rules
    that college athletics programs must actively
    involve roughly equal numbers of men and women to
    qualify for federal support

36
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 1998 Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, and
    Faragher v. City of Boca Raton Supreme Court
    rules that employers are liable for sexual
    harassment even when a supervisors threats are
    not carried out. However, the employer can defend
    itself by showing that it took steps to prevent
    or promptly correct any sexually harassing
    behavior and the employee did not take advantage
    of available opportunities to stop the behavior
    or complain of the behavior

37
Timeline of Womens Rights in the U.S.
  • 2000 United States v. Morrison Supreme Court
    invalidates those portions of the Violence
    Against Women Act permitting victims of rape,
    domestic violence, etc. to sue their attackers in
    federal court

38
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Emphasis on human dignity and worth, freedom, and
    universality
  • Adopted 1948
  • Not universally followed

39
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Rights to life, liberty, and security
  • Prohibits slavery and torture
  • Prohibits discrimination, arbitrary
    arrest/detention/exile
  • Guarantees fair, public trial by impartial
    tribunal
  • Innocent until proven guilty

40
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Guarantees protections against interference with
    family, home, and correspondence
  • Right to freedom of movement and residence
  • Right to nationality, right to seek asylum
  • Equal rights at marriage, within families, and at
    dissolution of marriage

41
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Right to own property
  • Right to freedom of thought, conscience, and
    religion
  • Right to freedom of expression and peaceful
    assembly and association
  • Right to take part in government
  • Right to social security

42
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Right to work, free choice of employment, just
    and favorable conditions of employment, and
    protection against unemployment
  • Right to form and join trade unions
  • Right to rest and leisure

43
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Right to adequate standard of living, including
    food, clothing, housing, medical care, and social
    services
  • Right to education
  • Free and compulsory in elementary stages
  • Right to participate in cultural life of
    community
  • Protects scientific, literary, and artistic
    endeavors

44
The Present
  • International Agreements
  • Wars
  • Torture
  • Extraordinary rendition
  • Status of Women

45
The US Rogue Nation
  • History Native Americans, slavery, current
    excesses, disparities and injustices
  • Co-opting Nazi and Japanese WWII scientists
  • Minimum 277 troop deployments by the US in its
    225 year history

46
The US Rogue Nation
  • Since the end of WWII, the US has bombed
  • China, Korea, Indonesia, Cuba, Guatemala, Congo,
    Peru, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, El
    Salvador, Grenada, Libya, Panama, Afghanistan,
    Sudan, Yugoslavia, and Iraq

47
The US Rogue Nation
  • Conservative estimate 8 million killed
  • US invasions/bombings often largely at behest of
    corporate interests
  • The US spends vastly more on war and the
    preparation for war than on peace
  • The US maintains military bases in 69 sovereign
    nations around the world

48
The US Rogue Nation
  • Continued funding of the Western Hemisphere
    Institute for Security Cooperation
  • Formerly the School of the Americas
  • Over 60,000 graduates, including many of the
    worst human rights abusers in Latin America
    (e.g., Manuel Noriega, Omar Torrijos, and the
    assassins of Archbishop Oscar Romero)
  • School of the Americas Watch, arrests

49
International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
  • Failure to sign or approve
  • Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social, and
    Cultural Rights
  • Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel
    Land Mines
  • Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

50
International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
  • Failure to sign or approve
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination
    Against Women
  • Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in
    Persons

51
International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
  • Failure to sign or approve
  • Protocol 1, Article 55 of the Geneva Conventions,
    which bans methods or means of warfare which are
    intended, or may be expected, to cause
    widespread, long-term and severe damage to the
    natural environment

52
International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
  • Failure to sign or approve
  • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic
    Pollutants
  • The Basel Convention on the Control of
    Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes
  • The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (re GM foods)

53
The US Rogue Nation
  • Death Penalty
  • US executes more of its citizens than any other
    country
  • US is the only country to execute both juveniles
    and the mentally ill
  • Failure to follow World Court Decisions
  • Largest debtor to the UN (only 40 of dues paid)

54
The Future
  • Education and Activism

55
Contact Information
  • Public Health and Social Justice Website
  • http//www.phsj.org
  • martindonohoe_at_phsj.org
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