Hesperian Health Guides

Appendix A: Advocate for Women's Rights Using International Law

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HealthWiki > Health Actions for Women > Appendix A: Advocate for Women's Rights Using International Law


The United Nations (UN) brings together almost every government in the world to discuss issues, resolve conflicts, and make treaties affecting the well-being of all people. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN in 1948, states that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." Article 25 declares that all people have the right to health care and necessary social services. The UN has made other agreements that specifically focus on and expand what is included in women’s rights. These agreements are sometimes called conventions, treaties, covenants, instruments, or accords, and they all do the same thing: define the rights that every woman has according to international law.

Malala Yousafzai inspires UN members to promote educational rights

At age 11, Malala became an education activist when she brought attention to the plight of girls in northwest Pakistan. When girls were banned from attending school in her region, she began writing blog entries detailing the discrimination she and other young women were facing. After being attacked and shot for her efforts, public outrage fueled a UN-led international campaign demanding recognition of the right of all children to attend school, guaranteed in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. After her recovery, she continued her advocacy and in 2014 Malala became the youngest person ever awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala Yousafzai speaking.
It does not matter what color your skin is, what language you speak, what religion you believe in, we should all consider each other human beings. We should respect each other, and we should all fight for our rights, for the rights of children, for the rights of women, and for the rights of every human being.