Gender, Race and Human Rights

Published: Jan 4, 2021
Contributor: Malliga Och
License: CC BY NC SA 4.0 license – Allows revisions and additions but forbids commercial use.

Are women human? Are indigenous people human? Are ethnic minorities human? Are  LGBTQ people human? The obvious answer to these questions is yes. Regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, or sexual orientation – what unites people is their common humanity. However, a common humanity does not necessarily mean that each person’s human rights are respected and protected equally. The international women’s rights movement fought for decades to have the United Nations declare that women rights are human rights. Yet even today, 1,000 indigenous women have gone missing (most likely murdered) in Canada,
80% of human trafficking victims are female, 10 countries still punish homosexuality by death, and ethnic cleansing is happening in Myanmar, South Sudan, and India. This class will explore how the concept of human rights intersects with gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation both through traditional lectures and a service-learning experience (or writing a policy brief if you prefer).

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