Magazine article Insight on the News

Symposium

Magazine article Insight on the News

Symposium

Article excerpt

Q: Is the U.N. women's agenda riding roughshod over religion?

Yes: Newly minted women's rights, are squeezing freedom of religion and conscience.

For years lawyers and feminist policy wonks at the United Nations have been writing and amending various manifestos of womens' rights. This womens' agenda goes far beyond merely pressuring Third World nations to stop sanctioning sexual slavery and female genital mutilation. Indeed, high on the target list of the feminist globocrats these days are the orthodox texts of Christianity, Judaism and Islam and any government that seeks to defend them.

The booklet Forum '98, which was handed out at a U.S. briefing at the United Nations on March 17, suggests that fundamentalist religions in the United States would not escape such targeting. The contemporary statement of U.S. feminists proposes that, to shape a better world in the 21st century, "We must [e]nd the use of religion to subjugate and control women." In addition, Local Action, Global Change, published this year by the U.N. Development Fund for Women and the Center for Women's Global Leadership, reports, "The fundamentalist movement is a universal phenomenon. It operates under different religious slogans, but it is a political movement using God to justify injustices and discrimination."

U.N. documents now provide blueprints to resolve conflict against religion in favor of womens' rights. For instance, two 1993 declarations contain similar provisions urging countries to combat violence against women by eradicating "the harmful effects of certain traditional or customary practices, cultural prejudices and religious extremism." The 1995 Beijing Platform for Action warns that "religious extremism is incompatible with the dignity and the worth of the human person and must be combated and eliminated." And what counts at the United Nations as religious extremism? That would be not merely the Taliban regime of Afghanistan but any person who challenges, on religious grounds, the proliferation of women's rights.

For example, three new "rights" being created by U.N. social planners include a right to a safe (legal) abortion, a right to homosexual behavior and a right to parent-free access to reproductive services for adolescents. The first of these challenges what many religions believe to be the most fundamental right: the right to life. The U.N. feminists, along with officials of the World Health Organization, frequently cite numbers of maternal deaths due to botched abortions in countries where the practice is illegal. The fact of the matter is, however, that unless the health care in developing countries improves, legalizing abortion actually could raise their maternal-mortality rates.

The feminist straggle to make homosexual behavior a human right is based on the claim that autonomous decision-making regarding the body is necessary to health and that such decisions must be free of discrimination. In a 1994 opinion, Toonen vs. Tasmania, the U.N. Human Rights Committee found that Tasmania's law prohibiting homosexual behavior violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and advised its repeal. If such a right is established, will ministers and priests who preach that homosexuality is a sin become human-rights violators? The establishing of such a right surely would accelerate pressure for the legalization of related rights such as same-sex marriage.

Many U.N. activists also are proclaiming what amounts to a right to parent-free access to reproductive services for adolescents. At a U.N. meeting called to draft a document for the U.N. General Assembly's five-year review of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, or ICPD, the U.S. delegation on March 31 insisted that the word "girls" be added to the text to read: "Governments should ensure that the human rights of women and girls includ[e] ... reproductive rights." Since reproductive rights denote the right of self-determination, this right for adolescents pits them against their parents' right to ensure the education of their children according to their own convictions as safeguarded in the 1994 Cairo Programme of Action and elsewhere. …

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