rights can be defined as the human rights of women. The equality of rights has
been a major concern when it comes to minority groups that are often
underprivileged and this accounts for one of the reasons why human rights
documents continually lay emphasis and highlight the importance of all people,
including women, minority ethnic and religious groups, having equal human
rights and being able to appreciate them without any discriminations. Feminists
have often complained about the standard lists of human rights which do not adequately
take the different risks frequently faced by many women
around the world into
consideration. For example, concerns like domestic violence, reproductive
choice, and trafficking of women and girls for prostitution or sex slavery did
not have an important place in early human rights documents and agreements. Thus,
the standard lists of human rights have had to be extended “to include the
degradation and violation of women” (Bunch 2006, Lockwood 2006). The United
Nations has been dealing with the rights of women and minority groups since
1964. Examples include through specialized treaties, such as, the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965); the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
(1979) and many other. Such pacts and agreements permit global standards to provide
solutions to problems of particular groups, for example, assistance and care
during pregnancy and childbearing in the case of women.


great progresses made by the international women’s rights movement over many
years, women and girls around the world still face atrocities. “Sex
discrimination is the disadvantage of a member or members of one sex over the
members of the other sex. Even though, men and women both face discriminations,
women are the most targeted preys. Discrimination against women is generally
based on the statement that men and women are physically and biologically dissimilar
and it is due to this difference that women are given lesser status in the
society (Rosemary Tong, 2009).” Even today, girls are still married off as
children or women are trafficked into forced labor and sex slavery. They cannot
achieve proper educational qualifications as they are denied access from
education along with denied access to political participation. Girls and women
often are the most vulnerable ones during conflicts, for instance, in some countries;
rapes are seen as weapons to create fear among people. Deaths related to
pregnancy and childbirth complications are very high around the globe. Women
are often not allowed to be their own decision-makers regarding their own private
lives. Human Rights Watch works in order to be able to achieve realization of
women’s empowerment and gender impartiality and hence protecting the rights of
girls and women along with improving their lives. Examples of women’s right
abuse can be seen in Kenya where the elections were marred by violence and
serious human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch has identified many dozens of
cases in the country involving sexual violence in the opposition monopolies
where the police and men in uniform were regularly the offenders with women
being the most targeted victims.

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Mauritian governments have been taking gender equality and thus women’s rights
high on their agendas since long. The National Women’s Council was set up in
1985 under an Act of parliament which operates under the aegis of the Ministry
of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare (MGECDEFW). It has
been involved in an island-wide movement on the propagation of information on
gender equality and gender issues. The country has already ratified the
Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discriminations Against Women (CEDAW)
since 1984, a pact that had been introduced by the United Nations. There are
many more conventions which Mauritius has consented with, including examples
such as the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development in 1997, the Protocol to
the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in
Africa in 2003, the Optional Protocol on violence against women in 2008, with
the aim to help vulnerable women facing gender- based discriminations and
violence. Nevertheless, there is still a need of a far-reaching understanding
in order to attain equality between men and women in the country. The ways in
which women are differentiated or victimized are a must to be acknowledged to
be able to provide appropriate strategies and measures to challenge this issue
of eliminating discrimination. The rights of women have long been recognized
but in practice these rights are often violated (Morten Kjaerum, 2012).  


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