Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives

By Rebecca J. Cook | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 10
Toward a More Effective Guarantee of the Enjoyment of Human Rights by Women in the Inter-American System

Cecilia Medina


Before addressing the substance of my chapter, I think it useful to state my position on some points. First, I have consciously changed the title of my chapter and refrained from using the expression "women's rights." My starting point is that human rights are those rights that each and every human being has on the sole merit of being human; thus it does not seem possible to use an expression that suggests the idea that some human beings, women, have different rights from those of other human beings, men. A first consequence of this position is that I find in the existence of human rights the moral justification to fight for women. I can think of no other reason that I should be entitled to plead for the improvement of women's lot in life. Consequently, my approach is that the struggle for women forms part of the general struggle to develop respect for the dignity of all human beings, and it is from the latter that it obtains the necessary force and legitimacy that will ultimately ensure its success.

A second consequence of this approach is that, in order to justify enjoyment by women of their rights, I do not find it necessary to point out that some characteristics inherent to women are better than those of men for an adequate functioning of society, or to argue that women have a higher morality or a higher intellect than men and that their serving in leading positions in society will result in an improved form of community life. In my view, women do not need to "earn" human rights; they should be encouraged, not hindered, to achieve leading positions in society, and have their fair share of power, education,


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 640

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?