Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Time's Up for Gender Injustice: What Every Woman Wants in 2018

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Time's Up for Gender Injustice: What Every Woman Wants in 2018

Article excerpt

Time's up for gender injustice: What every woman wants in 2018


This article was originally published on The Conversation, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts. Disclosure information is available on the original site.


Author: Jane Arscott, Professor, Athabasca University

Time is up for gender injustice. Women want to see their human rights respected. Rights to personal safety, economic security and meaningful participation lead the to-do list for 2018. Equality and equity, fairness and justice will follow.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights has invited us all to Take Action to promote, defend and reflect on the meaning and relevance of human rights.

The time is now for human rights and gender equality to reconceive our nation.

At the recent Golden Globe awards, Hollywood fought for women's rights in support of the Time's Up movement using the word intersectional. Intersectional means we are looking at issues of women's rights as intimately connected to each other such as racism, sexism and colonialism.

Canadian society's disregard for the dignity and rights of all citizens was revealed during the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which reported the far-reaching consequences of gender-based violence.

These consequences touch all aspects of life: Trauma, poor health, injury, early death and the effects of these legacies on personhood, family, friends and community across multiple generations. All of the leading issues for 2018 -- personal safety, economic security and meaningful participation --are intimately connected to each other.

Crucially: What is good for women will also be good for Canada. The commitment to respect women's rights means the elimination of gender-based economic and social discrimination. By doing so, everyone living in Canada stands to become more resilient, prosperous and content once human rights, women's rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples become entwined and integral to this place called Canada.

The subjection women and girls to abuse, assault, battery, harassment, injury and neglect must end now.

Gender is integral to our economy

Personal safety, or the right to security of the person, includes bodily safety and integrity of persons. Personal safety is connected to economic security, health and well-being and the valuing of all women's contributions past, present and future.

Unaddressed injustices can result in compromised health and well-being, poverty and early death.

Economic insecurity is a primary cause of concern for women. This insecurity diminishes autonomy and makes women and girls vulnerable to violations of their bodily security and integrity.

Human rights considerations to improve economic insecurity include: An increased minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, pay equity, collective bargaining, social security and vulnerable workers who do precarious work. These are all options recommended through gender analysis that assesses how diverse groups of women, men and gender-variant groups may differ in their experience of practices, policies and programs available.

Intersections with additionally relevant consideration such as ability, age, race and statuses related to citizenship, employment, family or living arrangements and marriage may also need to be taken into account.

Seeing gender as integral to the economy brings the true value of women into the conversation. …

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