Thursday, October 3, 2013 (10:30am-12:30pm)



During the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights was held in Vienna, feminist activists were indefatigable in their efforts to raise women’s rights as human rights and get the issue of violence against women on the United Nations (UN) agenda. Many important mechanisms and substantive achievements emerged from the governmental and non-governmental aspects of the conference. Fast-forward twenty years and women’s rights are a mainstay in UN processes yet globally women everywhere continue to face human rights violations.

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA) took new steps to promote and protect the rights of women and children, noting “the human rights of women and of the girl-child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights,” identifying “the full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life…and the eradication of all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex” as priority objectives (paragraph 18) and by the creation of a new mechanism, a Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women.

The Women’s Rights panel discussion will provide analyses of the Vienna Conference as well as present on the 21st century context of gender-based violence and militarism, land rights and women’s economic and social rights, and sexual orientation and gender identity. Panelists will also share their insights into forward looking strategies to realize women’s rights.