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Friday, June 28, 2013

Marriage mongers deny, UN Women promote “EQUALITY”

STARK CONTRAST between expanding exclusivity and open movement to free all women from subordination
Editing, re-reporting, comment by Carolyn Bennett

“As a set of time-bound targets, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have played a critical role in mobilizing integrated international action on global poverty issues,” UN Women write in a newly released position paper calling for a transformative agenda to make gender equality a reality. 

nequality and discrimination based on gender is an impediment to the achievement of women’s rights and was recognized in the Millennium Declaration as a significant factor undermining progress in many contexts.

“This recognition led to the inclusion of a stand-alone goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment (MDG3) and the integration of gender perspectives in other goals through some targets and indicators. As such, MDG3 and the mainstreaming of gender considerations into other goals were an important signal that gender equality and women’s empowerment remain a clear global 


owever, with a few years to go, evaluation of the MDG framework reveals a mixed picture that points to success in some areas (including in reducing extreme poverty, improving access to education and to safe drinking water), but less progress in others (e.g. in reducing hunger and maternal mortality, and improving access to sanitation). These mixed results in achieving the MDGs have been attributed to lack of attention to the policies needed to achieve the desired outcomes or to the structural problems that must be tackled. 

Women and children
caught in 
war and conflict
…The prevalence of conflict around the world challenges us to address this issue holistically in any new framework.  Social injustice and inequality and the perception of exclusion and marginalization can be powerful triggers of violent conflict and war.

t the same time, militarization diverts resources away from social and economic investments which can reduce inequalities and facilitate the realization of human rights.[ (Excerpt paper’s introduction)
In war and conflict

Stark contrasts evidenced in this week's gender news

As UN women released a paper calling for the unshackling of all women ─ transforming gender power relations ─ the gay community lesbian women among them were celebrating loss of “equality”: the shackling of women. Some, however, took exception to this mentally impaired celebratory point of view.

Against Equality:
Queer challenges to the
politics of Inclusion
The group Against Equality, whose website statement includes challenging the demand for inclusion in the institution of marriage, denounced gay marriage as “ap[ing] hetero privilege and allow[ing] everyone to forget that marriage ought not to be the guarantor of rights

“In their constant invoking of the ‘right’ to gay marriage,” the group notes, “mainstream gays and lesbians express a confused tangle of wishes and desires. …

“We wish
they would simply cop to (admit) it:

Their vision of marriage is the same as that of the [political] Right, and far from creating FULL EQUALITY NOW! as so many insist (in all caps and exclamation marks, no less) ─ gay marriage increases economic inequality by perpetuating a system that deems married beings more worthy of the basics like health care and economic rights.”

Yasmin Nair
In her 2009 article “Dump Gay Marriage Now,” Yasmin Nair wrote: “As we quibble about marriage, it is easy to forget that a rise in poverty and the lack of health care means that large segments of society are already denied their rights to decent education, housing, and a sense of security about their well-being.”
Human rights should not depend on “marriage” but …

“In the United States … marital status is increasingly what determines legal status as well as legitimacy as a subject of the state.”

Civil unions or domestic partnerships have lost comparable standing and single (“bachelordom”?) is looked on as alien, aberrant or taboo.  “Nowhere is this more apparent than in the treatment accorded to single mothers on welfare,” Nair writes. “Following the egregiously named ‘Welfare Reform’ package of 1996, poor women in particular have been subject to the kind of state intervention into their lives that would be held as unconstitutional if exerted on any other segment of society. …The stigma against unmarried people swirls around in U.S. culture at large, with an overwhelming array of messages in the media about single people as desperate, lonely souls who need to find their life mates if they are ever to be considered as human beings. …

Fairy tale
“I hear from straight friends that they are being compelled to marry,” she recalls, “because they are afraid that their unemployed/underemployed partners might be left vulnerable without their health care. All of this takes energy from the fight for universal health care.…”

Without rights, without freedom, without equality, without empowerment

Fairy tale

The intense personalization of gay marriage as an emotional cause (i.e. as something that should matter because of the grief it causes your gay neighbor), is just another way to rationalize and increase the relentless privatization of everyday life,” Nair writes, “another way to absolve the state of its responsibility to its subjects.”

he United States is the only Western nation that does not provide health care. That ─ and not the fact that we don’t have gay marriage ─ should be something that shames us all.” 

UN Women
Gender Equality
Women's Rights
Women's Empowerment

Real proponent of true equality ─ Holistic vision

eturning to their call for “a transformative agenda to make gender equality a reality,” United Nations Women highlight these targets to address core elements of gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment:

Freedom from violence against women and girls

Women and girls
Concrete actions to eliminate the debilitating fear and/or experience of violence must be a centerpiece of any future framework.

This violence, which causes great physical and psychological harm to women and girls, is a violation of their human rights; [it] constrains their ability to fulfill their true potential and carries great economic costs for them and for society.

Gender equality in capabilities and resources

Viet Nam
The often skewed distribution of capabilities,  such as knowledge and health – encompassing sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for women and adolescent girls, as well as resources and opportunities, such as productive assets (including land), decent work and equal pay – needs to be addressed with renewed urgency to build women’s economic and social security.

Gender equality in decision-making power in public and private institutions

The low numbers of women in public decision-making, from national parliaments to local councils, must be remedied to ensure that women feature prominently in democratic institutions and their voices are heard in public and private deliberations.

The lack of voice in decision-making is also found in the key institutions influencing public opinion and promoting accountability, such as the media and civil society, as well as in private-sector institutions, such as in the management and governance of firms. It has its roots in unequal power relations in the family and community.

Ivory Coast
There are significant national and regional variations in gender relations, and countries will vary in their approaches to – and set their own targets for – advancing gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment.

While every country will have its own way of organizing policies and
resources to meet its commitments to the achievement of gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment, these three priority target areas represent ‘minimum transformation in gender power relations can be achieved standard’ elements that should be addressed, consistent with international commitments.
Arab Women's

The interlinked and complex nature of women’s subordination means that only a comprehensive approach, encompassing actions in all three of these areas is likely to achieve gender equality. 
 It is only through this kind of holistic approach that meaningful, lasting transformation in gender power relations can be achieved

The contrast
of the
Personal variety
between the two approaches  one launched by an elite we-want-the same-exclusionary-privileges-‘they’- have (neither aims toward equality or “rights” but the opposite); and a global institution calling for rights releasing and empowering women and all society is stark indeed.  

The former is a narrow-minded exclusivity that denies difference and is less than indifferent to the reality of varieties of situations, choices and people domestically and globally. A “preference” or “orientation” becomes denier of others’ preferences and orientations.

On the other hand UN Women correctly observe that uprooting a predilection for violence (male war making and conflicit) and deep-seated prejudice and repression requires an all-round, inclusive, not narrowly particularized, approach.

Sources and notes

“UN Women launches global call for a transformative agenda to make gender equality a reality: Ending Violence against Women | Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment | Millennium Development Goals | News | Press Releases | Sustainable Development,” Posted on June 26 2013
PRESS RELEASE: Position paper calls for freedom from violence, equality in capabilities and resources, and women’s voice to be the cornerstones of a stand-alone gender equality goal

See full document at:  http://www.unwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/post-2015-case-for-standalone-gender-goal.pdf

At PravdaRu: “Towards gender equality: UN Women launches global call” (Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, Source: UN Women Prepared for publication by Lisa Karpova, Pravda.Ru), June 28, 2013, 02:39, http://english.pravda.ru/history/28-06-2013/124974-gender_un_women-0/

UN Women is the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting the needs of women and girls worldwide.

UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programs and services needed to implement these standards. It stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life, focusing on five priority areas:

  1. increasing women’s leadership and participation; 
  1. ending violence against women; 
  1. engaging women in all aspects of peace and security processes; 
  1. enhancing women’s economic empowerment; and 
  1. making gender equality central to national development planning and budgeting

UN Women also coordinates and promotes the UN system’s work in advancing gender equality.

220 East 42nd Street, New York, New York 10017, USA; Tel: 212-906-6400 Fax: 212-906-6705 www.unwomen.org

Against Equality

Against Equality is an online archive, publishing, and arts collective focused on critiquing mainstream gay and lesbian politics. As queer thinkers, writers and artists, (they) “are committed to dislodging the centrality of equality rhetoric and challenging the demand for inclusion in the institution of marriage, the U.S. military, and the prison industrial complex via hate crimes legislation. (They) want to reinvigorate the queer political imagination with fantastic possibility!
.. - See more at: http://www.againstequality.org/#sthash.ydWz7auK.dpuf

“Dump Gay Marriage Now” (Yasmin Nair), July 02, 2009, http://www.bilerico.com/2009/07/dump_gay_marriage_now.php


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