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A call for global action on International Women's Day 2024

By Dr. Ahlam Nasser

March 7, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

As we approach Women's Day in 2024, the world is witnessing numerous human rights violations under unacceptable pretexts and justifications. The harsh reality becomes evident when considering the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 as a sincere attempt to ensure all people's rights globally. Human rights, including women's rights, are rapidly slipping towards the graveyard of history, considered more of a luxury than an essential. This underscores the challenges faced by women globally, laden with violations and injustices suffered by many in conflict zones and every corner of the world. The right to a dignified life, freedom, and justice has become more fragile than ever. The time for action is now, and it starts with reimagining and reinforcing the structures designed to protect our fundamental rights.

The stark reality of these violations is evident in conflict zones, where the pace of cruelty and violations against humanity accelerates. In Syria, the humanitarian crisis persists amid ongoing conflict, with civilians enduring deliberate attacks, leading to massive displacement and endless suffering. In Yemen and Sudan, poverty and hunger escalate amidst continuous conflict, with people bearing the brunt of increasing violence. Civilians in Ukraine face similar hardships due to the ongoing war in their homeland. Also, the reality of ongoing genocides is evident, particularly in regions like Palestine, where the systematic oppression and violence against its people persist unchecked. To address this, the international community must bolster efforts to hold perpetrators accountable and provide meaningful support to affected communities. This includes establishing independent investigative mechanisms and ensuring swift and fair justice for victims.

However, conflicts alone are not the source of injustice, poverty, and freedom suppression. People live under the illusions of justice and freedom in every corner of the world, with many lacking fundamental rights. In China, campaigns of repression against religious and ethnic minorities persist while activists and journalists endure persecution. Meanwhile, the regime in Burma continues to suppress any political opposition, resulting in the killing of thousands of activists, including democracy supporters. In Cuba, harsh sentences have been issued against hundreds of individuals demanding their rights.

It is clear that the Declaration of Human Rights is unable to protect the rights of the vulnerable worldwide, foremost among them the Palestinians. Since the adoption of the declaration, Palestinians have lived under the weight of continuous conflicts and human rights violations, with international mechanisms failing to enforce adequate protection and provide justice. Achieving justice for Palestinians remains an unrealized international challenge, highlighting the failure of global efforts to apply human rights principles in this complex region.

The restructuring of the UN is vital in the context of ongoing global changes. The international community must work towards providing a more modern and fair perspective to achieve effective and fair representation in decision-making. The wings of major powers that may possess disproportionate influence in decision-making must be restrained, emphasizing the need for international interaction based on cooperation and the common good rather than narrow national interests, political ambitions, and power struggles in the world. This contributes to achieving the goals of the UN, which are peace and sustainable development, fostering fair interaction among all nations in building a more just and sustainable world.

Ultimately, the fate of human rights is undeniably linked to continuous work and collective effort at the international level. Women's Day 2024 serves as a rallying cry for action, inspiring us to redouble our efforts to pursue justice and equality for all and reflect on this harsh reality and motivation towards building a world where everyone enjoys their fundamental rights without discrimination. This can only be achieved through restructuring the UN, reviewing human rights agreements, and ensuring the independence of their implementing mechanisms worldwide. Together, these steps pave the way for building a world where human rights are not merely ideals but tangible lived realities for everyone.


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