The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Accountability on Women’s Human Rights

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human

Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant now as they were in 1948. We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all.

Human rights are at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as in the absence of human dignity we cannot drive sustainable development. Human Rights are driven by progress on all SDGs, and the SDGs are driven by advancements on human rights.

Commemorating such an important document as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for one day is not enough. Lately a number of UN agencies, like UN Women, and now the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, the initiator and global coordinator of 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, has adopted a new approach in order to move from awareness to accountability.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership and used by activists around the world as an organizing strategy to call for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence. It takes place every year between November 25 and December 10 and is run by over 6000 organizations in 187 countries.

This year the Center is asking everybody to join forces with workers’ unions and turn these 16 days into a 365 effort to end all harassment and violence in the world of work.  Every month leading up to June 2019 there will be a focus on different sectors of work, highlighting gender based violence for domestic workers, politicians, journalists and in garment factories, in the agricultural sector and more. This is a transforming experience which can bring powerful results.

The IAW has since a number of years been working on the issue of accountability adopting Declarations after every Board meeting asking our members to hold their governments and other relevant stakeholders accountable for the realisation of women’s human rights and gender equality.