The hostile amendments to that UN resolution on protecting the defenders of women’s rights did a lot of damage, as a matter of fact.
African nations, the Vatican, Iran, Russia, China and conservative Muslim states had sought to weaken the resolution passed by the assembly’s human rights committee, diplomats and activists said.
Fraught negotiations were held over the text.
African countries had insisted on highlighting respect for customs and traditions. Russia, Iran and China had called for language which insisted the rights defenders should follow national laws, diplomats and activists said.
In the end Norway agreed to delete a paragraph which said states should “strongly condemn all forms of violence against women and women human rights defenders and refrain from invoking any customs, traditions or religious consideration to avoid their obligations.”
African nations in turn withdrew a proposed amendment which said human rights defenders had to fall in line with “local situations,” diplomats said.
That’s pretty horrifying. More than 30 European countries, including Britain, France and Germany, backed out of the whole deal because of it.
The Vatican led opponents to references in the draft to the risks faced by those working on sexual and reproductive health and gender rights, activists who monitored the talks said.
Rights groups said the UN committee should have stood firm against the changes.
Women human rights defenders often “challenge traditional religious and cultural values and practices which subordinate, stigmatise or restrict women” when they take up gender and sexual rights, said Eleanor Openshaw of the International Service for Human Rights.
I’m so sick of Team No to Women’s Rights.