Global Justice: Women, Poverty, & Human Rights What is justice? Is it a goal or objective? UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights Is it a matter of due process? Equality; recognition; right to life, liberty, security Is it a balance or equilibrium; fairness? Assets/wealth of states compared to other states Poverty One out of five lives in abject poverty 70 percent of these are women & children 2.2 million die of infectious diseases each year Malnutrition is at the core of all preventable children’s diseases Children often do not go to school Many children are abandoned or leave “home” or are sold to human traffickers Five indicators of poverty Incidence of extreme poverty – proportion of people living on less than one dollar a day Access to primary & secondary education & the adult literacy rate Mortality of children under five years of age Fertility rate Population with access to safe drinking water Causes of poverty Globalization (few resources; no capital; no foreign investment; inability to compete) Conflict (interstate & civil war – political & economic instability) No access to clean drinking water nor sanitation Lack of access to education – low literacy, no skills Low income, societal attitudes, violence, malnutrition, lack of education, & inequality (including women’s lack of access to economic, social, & political opportunities) together foster poverty. The international community helps states with economic & health concerns, but societal attitudes & inequality have traditionally been considered problems to be solved at the state level. Feminist Theory of International Relations Men interpret history in terms of wars, weapons, & conquests (military or economic) – high politics Nearly all cultures reward men for violence; high politics has always been dominated by men. Mao Zedong said “Revolution (i.e., male violence) is not a dinner party (i.e., female activity) In mainstream international relations, consideration of concerns associated with low politics, such as international development, world poverty, women’s issues, and human rights comes after the issues of war & security have been exhaustively discussed. Feminist theorists argue that traditional high politics is irrelevant to today’s security concerns. The modern world is highly interdependent & faces multiple threats from so many sources that state independence may no longer be possible nor desirable. Individuals face many forms of insecurity: ethnic conflict, poverty, natural catastrophes, local terrorist acts, unemployment, family violence, and environmental degradation. None of these have been traditionally defined as national security goals. Feminists argue that security can be gained by striving for attachment & community.
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