The relationship between health, race, caste, class and gender is rooted in colonial, patriarchal and capitalist control over women’s sexuality, reproduction and bodies and produces distinct experiences of oppression that are often fatal. Racialised women are specifically targeted by harmful stereotypes, the essentialisation of women to their reproductive capacities, forced sterilisation, forced pregnancies and chromosomal testing in sporting events through state interventions or purposeful inaction. This has profound impacts on their health and human rights.
Prepared in response to the call for inputs issued by the Special Rapporteur on the right to development to inform his 2023 thematic reports and priorities for the mandate, this submission recommends adopting an intersectional approach to the right to development by engaging with gender, racial and economic justice, among others.
This joint submission by SRI, AWID and IWRAW AP responds to a call for input issued by the Independent Expert on foreign debt for her upcoming report on multiple crises, fiscal systems and human rights. The submission aims to address the current situation as a crisis of neo-liberal capitalism, white supremacy, colonialism and patriarchy, and calls for an intersectional approach to these crises, their causes and their human rights impacts.
In response to the Special Rapporteur’s call for input about unilateral coercive measures and the right to health, SRI made a submission examining unilateral sanctions as forms of economic and racial injustice and imperial domination, and a violation of the right to development.
In response to the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, Reem Alsalem’s harmful position against legal gender recognition through self-identification, the Sexual Rights Initiative has decided to stop engaging with this mandate-holder, and encourages other feminist organizations and activists to do the same.
As we embark on another year of activism for sexual rights, we wanted to share with you our highlights of 2022. While the UN human rights system continues to be confronted by multiple challenges –from funding shortages, geopolitical tensions and polarisation and attempts to undermine multilateralism to the presence and influence of regressive and conservative actors, we have made steadfast progress in advancing sexual rights in this system. Read below for our highlights of 2022.
SRI, IWRAW Asia Pacific and AWID made a joint submission in response to the Working Group’s call for inputs on “Human security of women and girls in the context of poverty and inequality.” The submission advocates for an economic justice approach and class analysis of poverty and inequality.
In between Human Rights Council sessions, there are many ways activists, movements and organisations can engage the UN human rights system to advance further their advocacy. In this post, we focus on recent calls for inputs by Special Procedures that provide avenues for feminist engagement.
In response to the Special Rapporteur’s call for inputs on racism and the right to health, SRI made a submission advocating for an analysis of racism and the right to health addressing both racism and colonialism as determinants of health and as structural violence.
This is a joint submission by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights and members of its National Youth Advisory Board and the Sexual Rights Initiative to the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls (DAWG).
In response to the Special Rapporteur’s call for inputs on violence and its impact on the right to health, SRI made a submission addressing violations of bodily autonomy and the operation of systems of oppression as structural violence
This joint submission in response to the questionnaire by the Special Rapporteur provides context to the analysis on laws on violence against women. As a critical aspect to understanding laws on rape and other forms of sexual violence, this submission locates penal laws within the larger structural paradigm that dictates and influences the enactment and implementation of these laws and policies. It provides critical analysis of the harms of carceral approaches or approaches that rely on punishment and incarceration, when addressing gender-based violence. It argues that the report of the Special Rapporteur is an opportunity to lay down clear frameworks on consent and to counter paternalistic and essentialist discourses.
This submission reviews bioethics and how it has related to the rights of persons with disabilities. It first highlights how bioethics constitutes its own authority and experts to have a say in the lives of persons with disabilities. Secondly it provides a brief overview of a global feminist approach to bioethics and its contributions to a critique of the field. After highlighting the contributions of women with disabilities to the so-called “bioethical discussions,” the submission recommends to move away from bioethics and adopt a human rights-based analysis.
In response to the Special Rapporteur’s call for input on the topic, SRI made a submission calling for domestic violence to continue being recognized as a form of gender-based violence that amounts to torture and/or degrading treatment. The submission outlines relevant human rights standards and challenges the public/private dichotomy that has historically underscored international human rights law.
Prepared in response to the call for inputs issued by the Special Rapporteur to review the 25 years of the mandate and current challenges, this submission uses the principles identified by the Special Rapporteur to discuss the following challenges to ending violence against women and girls: the increasing attention and resources directed towards engaging men and boys and the consequent impact on feminist organising; racist, misogynist and xenophobic discourse that seeks to undermine human rights norms and standards on gender based violence and women’s and girls’ rights more broadly; and finally the urgent need to move beyond individualizing experiences of gender based violence towards a focus on structural violence condoned or perpetrated by states.
In response to the Special Rapporteur’s call for input on nationalist populism, the submission makes the links between the resurgence of white supremacist, racist and xenophobic discourse in mainstream, right-wing and populist movements, related discriminatory laws and policies, and States’ complicity in furthering violence. It looks at the impact of racial discrimination in the area of sexuality and gender, and advocates for an intersectional approach to these issues.
In response to the Special Rapporteur’s call for input on the right to health, SRI made a submission focusing on the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of persons with disabilities. The submission challenges stereotypes surrounding sexuality and disability, outlines some of the common barriers to SRHR experienced by women and girls with disabilities, and advocates for an approach centered on autonomy.