The Vienna tribunal (Global Tribunal on the Violations of Women’s Human Rights)

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In the section on Social and Economic Rights," Maria Lourdes de Jesus (Cape Verde/Italy) testified on behalf of migrant domestic workers who are abused physically, emotionally and economically by employers who act with impunity. She spoke of workers raped by employers, abducted, and forced into prostitution. Left homeless and without legal status, who have no recourse to law or resources. Bernice A. See (Philippines) testified on behalf of Indigenous women suffering at the hands of colonizers and the military. She talked about the injustice of the legal and political system and how government-sanctioned militarization and development is a slow deliberate form of ethnocide. Charon Asetoyer (USA -Native American) testified on behalf of Indigenous women in the borders of USA. She described situations of extreme poverty, ill-health, drug abuse,suicide, cultural annihilation, environmental pollution, land rights violations, and violations of women's reproductive rights as a result of racist and discriminatory government policy. Ayesha Arshad (Bangladesh) told the story of a co-worker in a garment factory who was a sole-support mother, and had to walk three miles to work every day. The women earned only two-thirds of what the men earned for the exact same work. This woman began to grow weaker. One day she collapsed at work. Her friends finally discovered she'd been selling her blood in order to feed her child. Through their outrage at the unfair labour practices against women workers, the women again tried to unionize, only to be met with threats, intimidation, and dismissal. Ayesha called for international solidarity and action on the violations of women's human rights in the workplace. Elaine Hewitt (Barbados) testified that although the majority of state in the Caribbean have signed and ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the reality of women's lives in her country is still one of discrimination on the basis of sex. She particularly focused on the negative effects of the structural adjustment programs forced on countries by international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. These SAPS are undermining all social programs and, therefore, impacting on the lives of women who are already economically, socially and politically disadvantaged and making them even more vulnerable to violence both in the home and out. She called on the UN to adhere to the principles of basic socio- economic human rights for all people including women. In the section on "Political Persecution and Discrimination," Maria Olea (Chile/USA) escaping a violent husband who threatened her life, fled Chile to seek refuge in the usa. Chile was in the middle of violent political upheaval. She applied for political refugee status on the grounds of being a battered wife and was denied. She testified on behalf of herself and other undocumented women who fled violent situations in their countries only to be denied justice in the US and further victimized by employers and other officials because of their illegal status. Gertrude Fester (South Africa) testified on behalf of herself and other women who had been detained by the apartheid regime of South Africa. Many women were sexually harassed, raped, and tortured. They were threatened with rapes of their mothers, sisters, and friends if they didn't reveal the names of other women's groups, feminist groups and lesbians. Norma Valle and Ana Rivera-Lassen (Puerto Rico) outlined the repressive measures taken by the government against women's groups and individual feminist activists. They told stories of persecution and harassment, government "agents" stalking, stealing and altering files, visits to employers and family members, firings. They charged that interference with the right to gather and organize as women and feminists is a direct violation of our human rights. Khalida Messaoudi (Algeria) testified on behalf of Oum Ali, a single mother who was terrorized by Muslim extremists for living without a husband. She was systematically harassed on a daily basis, stoned, and finally the terrorists burned her house. Her youngest child died in the fire. She also told the stories of several women who had been harassed, terrorized and in the case of Saraya, murdered in a ritualistic stoning. Khalida ended her testimony by showing a document produced by the Islamic Republic demonstrating the proper size of stone to be used in the stoning of women."

Rogers G.



Secondary Title

Canadian Woman Studies


Inanna Publications and Education Inc.









Women's Studies, Women, Rights, Human rights, Conferences, Violence against women, Children, Migrants, Law, Politics, Parents & parenting, Racism, Feminism, Refugees, Verbal aggression, Interference (Learning), 9172:Canada

Form: Journal Article
Geographical Area: Philippines, Other

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