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Paragraph 147(f) of the Beijing Platform for Action. Chapter IV

2022-04-27

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): The Good Men Project

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/03/11

Strategic objective E.5.

Provide protection, assistance and training to refugee women, other displaced women in need of international protection and internally displaced women

Actions to be taken

147. By Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and other institutions involved in providing protection, assistance and training to refugee women, other displaced women in need of international protection and internally displaced women, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Programme, as appropriate:

f. Ensure that the international community and its international organizations provide financial and other resources for emergency relief and other longer-term assistance that takes into account the specific needs, resources and potentials of refugee women, other displaced women in need of international protection and internally displaced women; in the provision of protection and assistance, take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women and girls in order to ensure equal access to appropriate and adequate food, water and shelter, education, and social and health services, including reproductive health care and maternity care and services to combat tropical diseases;

Beijing Declaration (1995)

Paragraph (f) of the Beijing Declaration works on the resources for relief. Important to have, probably, in the back of the mind when going through some of these documents and some of the commentaries, in general terms, the enterprise of the Beijing Declaration is international in geographical scope and long-term in time. It is intended as a serious and comprehensive document for fulsome conversations at the national, regional, and international levels while convened and planned with an international emphasis.

When examining some of the aspects of the document around the support structures, often, as you already surmised, these projects can be extraordinarily expensive and onerous. If we take the largest economy in the world under President Trump, then we can see the global humanitarian aid upwards of $50 billion (USD) or a little over 1% of the federal budget of the United States.

The focus is short-term, in the cases of “emergency relief,” to long-term, in the case of “longer-term assistance” for this section (f). Refugee women and other displaced women will require more resources than others because of being caught in various systems of precarity. While the focus may be on the international scale, and much of the focus sticks to the general idea of the rights of women under the rubric of human rights, where attempts to differentiate or dichotomize human rights and women’s rights would lead the standard historical and dangerous situation in which women’s rights are seen as secondary and simply move the dial towards women as a non-human category insofar as rights are concerned, this global focus on women’s rights within the bloc of human rights sets a standard.

The standard of women as human being deserving of rights and then utilizing this framework to consider specialized issues and concerns in the international scene relevant to the rights of women. When section (f) of Paragraph 147 states:

Ensure that the international community and its international organizations provide financial and other resources for emergency relief and other longer-term assistance that takes into account the specific needs, resources and potentials of refugee women, other displaced women in need of international protection and internally displaced women;

It speaks to this emphasis on the rights of women. How can the international community come together to support women? How can international organizations help with the support of women’s rights in a similar manner? One is simply an ethic and a principled effort of global cooperation in the manner described in earlier pieces. What the “specific needs,” or “resources,” or “potentials” amount to, these will depend on the contexts for the refugee women.

The aim is equality of treatment and provisions. However, as a pragmatist in a number of ways, this seems more like an impossibility than a possibility, but the relative equality, certainly, seems reasonable for the provisions of generic “specific needs” or “resources,” for the “potentials” of refugee women. Nonetheless, all of this comes at the consideration of the international protection of internally displaced and refugee women.

Finally, section (f) closes with some more specific considerations after the semicolon:

in the provision of protection and assistance, take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women and girls in order to ensure equal access to appropriate and adequate food, water and shelter, education, and social and health services, including reproductive health care and maternity care and services to combat tropical diseases;

Therein, we can find some of the issues of discrimination against women and girls in these contexts. One need merely look at the environments for the homeless men, the single mothers, the intellectually incapable students or the highly gifted-and-talented students without special provisions, and others, to see how stigma extended into discrimination can have lifelong impacts for the negative in a variety of contexts. Some even comprehensive.

These issues for internally displaced or refugee women amount to some of the most lethal issues facing people. Take, for example, the 21 million women and girls without places to live at this time, who fit into these refugee categories. One vulnerability of being a human being is violence from other human beings. Men subject to more psychological violence against them by women; women more subject to physical violence and sexual violence against them by men.

According to the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.), in “Violence against women,” the Key Facts include:

-Global estimates published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

-Most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime.

-Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner.

-Violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health, and may increase the risk of acquiring HIV in some settings.

-…Women are more likely to experience intimate partner violence if they have low education, exposure to mothers being abused by a partner, abuse during childhood, -and attitudes accepting violence, male privilege, and women’s subordinate status.

-There is evidence that advocacy and empowerment counselling interventions, as well as home visitation are promising in preventing or reducing intimate partner violence against women.

-Situations of conflict, post conflict and displacement may exacerbate existing violence, such as by intimate partners, as well as and non-partner sexual violence, and may also lead to new forms of violence against women.

The situations of conflict should be the main focus here with the cases of refugee and internally displaced women and girls. When they speak in these general terms within the document, a focus is the heuristics and general mechanisms of support. Here, only modest research provides more detailed information as to what that will look like in more concrete terms.

The protection of the women from the issues of the displacement and the ensuing violence is one part of solving the problems. Another is a mitigation of the consequences, as per the W.H.O. statements, about the provision of “advocacy and empowerment counselling interventions,” and dealing with some of the “post conflict” issues of displacement and vulnerability to violence by intimate partners.

Other provisions include “food, water and shelter, education [Ed. mentioned in earlier materials], and social and health services, including reproductive health care and maternity care and services to combat tropical diseases.” Different regions of the world will have differing needs for women in these contexts. In that, there are some who are facing issues of tropical diseases, while others face water shortages, or others, as the Rohingya children in the hundreds of thousands, miss out of crucial education time and lack educational materials and, thus, many will not have a future in the light of the ongoing catastrophe that is their life.

One of the more consequential choices for women in the modern world with the invention of the concept of women’s right and the universalization of rights beyond the ‘divine’ and the kings, or the priest class and the royal bloodlines, is dealing with reproductive healthcare measures, including abortion, contraceptives, comprehensive sexual education, and the freedom, via rights and social custom changes, to make independent choices in reproduction.

Once a child is decided to be brought into the world, however, the free choice extends into a free choice to put the needs of the child over the mothers; otherwise, this would appear as a distinct case of child abuse extrapolated, let alone a poor choice to have a child – simply to have one without sufficient cause. As Star Trek: Picard makes Star Trek much more popular, once more, as a franchise, one may be reminded of the issues between the android, Data, played by Brent Spiner, Jean-Luc Picard, former captain of the starship USS Enterprise, played by Patrick Stewart. The difficult considerations in the creation of a new life and the exasperation of Jean-Luc at Commander Data. At the collective end, infrastructural systems in societies should support women much more than the present too.

No children, no later adults for society, and, thus, women’s free choices, ideally, to have children should be supported as much as possible with the systems in place supporting everyone else in the society; it’s part of a synergistic, packaged deal in rationally enlightened societies. Something like the Informational Golden Rule mentioned earlier. It’s taking the facts of life as the facts of life, and the ideals inherent in many systems of thought, and sussing out the pragmatic cross-sections of workability for them.

Once mothers, maternity care formulates a part of the same issue here. Free choices, independent choices to have children with proper supports should be part of the bargain with providing the next generations of the society, while taking on the risks of pregnancy and giving birth, and the responsibility of putting the expected child’s needs before one’s own.

One can hope for community, partner, family, etc., support for everyone bringing the joy of new life into the world in spite of the difficulties; unfortunately, as you, dear reader, and everyone else, knows, this isn’t quite the case. Now, imagine case for the refugee and internally displaced women in similar cases of need, they will be vulnerable, potentially desperate, while striving for some semblance of a civilized and comfortable life for themselves, their child or children, and potentially expected one.

These are the contexts intended as extensions of the general statements of the Beijing Declaration.

–(Updated 2020-03-07, only use the updated listing, please) Not all nations, organizations, societies, or individuals accept the proposals of the United Nations; one can find similar statements in other documents, conventions, declarations and so on, with the subsequent statements of equality or women’s rights, and the important days and campaigns devoted to the rights of women and girls too:Documents

Strategic Aims

Celebratory Days

Guidelines and Campaigns

Women and Men Women’s Rights Campaigners

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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