UN Conference on Human Rights 1993 UN Conference on Women, 1995 Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women
The movement for women’s human rights developed powerfully in the decade between the 1985 women’s conference in Nairobi and the 1995 conference in Beijing. During that time, the importance of the UN human rights system in defining and protecting the rights of women came to be recognized as never before. In 1985 the idea of women’s human rights was on the agenda of NGOs, particularly that of Third World Forum on Women, Law and Development, but was largely absent from the documents of the official UN Conference. The announcement of a UN Human Rights Conference in 1993, the first in 25 years, sparked the interest of women throughout the world. Concerted effort began to be focused on understanding how human rights instruments and mechanisms could be interpreted and used in promotion and protection of women’s rights. As part of the international human rights movement, WLDI focused on contributing to this understanding and influencing the agenda of both activists and the UN system itself. At the 1993 Vienna Conference, WLD published a book, Claiming our Place: Working the UN System to Women’s Advantage. We also convened several panels as part of the NGO Forum in which prominent human rights scholars offered insight about “working the system.” In preparation for the 1995 Women’s conference in Beijing, WLDI brought scholars and practitioners together in a project called From Basic Need to Basic Rights that produced a substantive international dialog over issues of women’s human rights and a set of recommendations for activist and government action. After Nairobi with the appointment of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, WLDI undertook to support her with research on domestic violence, rape and gender violence in the context of war. These projects will be explained in the pages to come.
Claiming our Place: Working the Human Rights System to Women's Advantage explains WLDI's work related to theUN Human Rights Conference (Vienna, 1993).
State Responses to Domestic Violence, State Responses to Rape and Gender Violence: the Hidden War Crime explains our work related to WLDI's Support of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women.
From Basic Needs to Basic Rights: Women's Claim to Human rights and A Women's Rights Agenda for the 90s and Beyond explains our work related to the UN Women's Conference (Beijing 1995).