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Women's organizations in El Salvador: history, accomplishments, and international support. [Organizaciones femeninas en El Salvador: historia, logros y apoyo internacional]
In: Women and civil war. Impact, organizations, and action, edited by Krishna Kumar. Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001. 183-203.Women's organizations in El Salvador have undergone a unique evolution, first in relation to the conditions of war that permeated El Salvador from 1980 to 1992 and then in response to economic restructuring and the challenges of democratization following the war. The conditions of El Salvador's civil war, along with the fact that many women's organizations became stronger during the war, have resulted in a unique set of organizations that are marked by their autonomy at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Early-conflict women's organizations (1980 to 1985) were characterized by their attachment to a wide range of popular grass-roots organizations and attempts to incorporate women into these groups. Many of these organizations mobilized women around economic issues, survival in the war, and human rights. A few formed in this period began to work with battered women and to question women's legal, political, and domestic subordination. Few, however, were willing to embrace the concept of feminism. Late-conflict and post-conflict women's organizations (1986 to 2001) are characterized by women challenging gender hierarchies within mixed grass-roots organizations and putting forth a gendered discourse on specific women's rights, ranging from violence against women to inequities in the labor force. Feminism also became more prevalent during this time. In this chapter we look at the particular changes found in women's organizations and link them to specific historical, social, and economic circumstances. We then evaluate what the impact of women's organizations has been in terms of empowering Salvadoran women and make recommendations for international donor organizations so that they can better serve Salvadoran women's organizations. (excerpt)
[Resolution No.] 48/104. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women [20 December 1993].
RESOLUTIONS AND DECISIONS ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY DURING ITS FORTY-EIGHTH SESSION. 1994; 1:217-9.On December 20, 1993, the UN General Assembly issued a Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The preamble to the Declaration refers to international human rights treaties and notes that the present resolution will strengthen the implementation process for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Violence against women is denounced as an obstacle to development, a violation of rights and fundamental freedoms, and a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between the sexes. Concern is also expressed for women in particularly vulnerable groups. The Declaration opens with a definition of "violence against women" as "any act of gender-based violence that results in . . . physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women. . .." Article 2 notes that these acts include domestic violence, sexual abuse, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation, rape, sexual harassment, forced prostitution, and violence perpetrated or condoned by any State. The third article states that women's rights are to include the right to life, to equality, to liberty and security of person, to equal protection under the law, to freedom from discrimination, to the highest attainable physical and mental health, to just and favorable employment conditions, and to protection from torture or inhuman punishment. Article 4 notes that States should condemn violence against women and should not invoke any custom, tradition, or religion to avoid their obligations to elimination such violence. This article also contains additional specific measures which States should follow. The fifth article covers ways in which the UN can contribute to this goal by taking such actions as fostering international and regional cooperation, promoting meetings and seminars, fostering coordination within the UN system, and cooperating with nongovernmental organizations.