thumbnail of Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal; Women's Rights
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
I should like to feel that some agency would undertake some research in cooperation with us in Trinidad those of us who are interested in the subject in order to discover ways and means whereby we can remedy the situation of these children and of the is women. Let me give one example to indicate some thing of the nature of the problem. These are matters which I consider of very great significance and there on the question of human rights what rights ought these women and all these children to have recognised. How does one go about the scene that they get recognised. Is it merely by persuading government to change the law because one finds that governments are very slow to change laws when they're around or when there is no political content in those laws and therefore one has got to try and see how far one can mobilize a public opinion. This is a way in which I think it
has to be done. Mobilize a public opinion so as to force the politicians to take some steps. I've been trying for some time to mobilize a public opinion in along those lines I have not succeeded so far. Perhaps the intervention of some inquiry from the United Nations may assist I do not know but I threw out the problem because I think it is a problem which one can identify in my particular community. The question of family planning is one which I'm very glad has been raised. This is one of the vexed questions which have sprung up in the community and particularly in the communities such as mine well Roman Catholics were very strongly against any idea of family planning. It created it poors problems of a major kind. I'm glad to see a lot of other just recently the government has given some
recognition to family planning to set up a committee to assist. And it seems also that the Roman Catholic community doesn't are not as strong as they used to be against it. I do not know whether this is a strictly accurate statement to make I can only say it seems as if they are not a strictly against it as they used to be. Haven't identified that problem haven't indicated that my own thinking isn't public opinion has got to be mobilized against it. In order to be able to attack it at its roots. Having indicated further that or all of that mean negate now the DI think that education national committee work will be very necessary in order to help to move belies that opinion. Having indicated all that I would also wish to see that I do think that this is a particular line of activity in which we can get our systems from a human rights committee
interested in seeing the discrimination of the sort should be put on end. Thank you so H O B would chief justice of the Court of Appeal in Trinidad and Tobago. Next we hear from an Israeli delegate at the Assembly for human rights. Hi I'm Edgecomb justice of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem. And of this Crimean nation of women is a very good example. It's sort of a we should try and promote human rights and any nation of discrimination in general. There is a United Nations of course a commission on the status of women. And being the United Nations Commission of Human Rights have time and again that documents directed to the enemy nation off the discrimination of children born out of wedlock and other things which
have been touched upon here. All these declarations and documents I submit Mr. Chairman do not anything. Those states which do not intend to introduce legislation to eliminate discrimination against women and so-called illegitimate children which they still have not introduced that legislation however many collaboration resolutions may be passed by the United Nations. It is not only the chief justice has said a matter of politics and no legislation is passed unless it is a political interest in passing it. Then things go a little bit deeper here because there is a very deep rooted prejudice at times even a religious prejudice against vesting equal rights in the women. And these unfortunate children.
And I do not know any government will be eager to. Hurt in any way the fueling of any religious community in its midst. Now Mr. Chairman I think there's only one really effective rate to go about these things. In this way his being has proved successful especially in the field of the discrimination against women and that is as the chief justice said the raising of public opinion. Mr. Chairman I think that as far as the discrimination against women is concerned though the public opinion now is such that no government respecting itself can really afford to discriminate against women. I think a country like Switzerland has made it saves a lot of the civilized world in denying to its women the right to vote. Nobody
I submit and the government of Switzerland is not so much to blame because they have a very good institution and that is a popular referendum. They can always say we are innocent. It's our population that has these prejudices not the government. I do not think Mr. Chairman that of this possible in this year of 1968 or in the second half of the 20th century in any government any state which calls itself civilized to stand this stand. Public opinion if vim and discriminated against such discriminations as may exist against women and which has been enumerated by our speaker this afternoon I think our discriminations which not only women have to complain off in my country for instance Time and again here are very bitter complaints of men that they are discriminated against as compared with women. I now ask for the law to grant them quality at least as far as the
women are concerned. Not without justification. If public opinion is nearly every race it can be a days by educational and propaganda mediums. If it is raised so as to outlaw any possible this could be nation against women. That is the only effective and practical way to do anything about it. I think we should seize once and for all to apply to governments either through the United Nations or at all because these applications to governments are just of no avail you know based on paper. I think it was just as homemade KHON of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem. Now a brief rejoinder from Mr Simple. Again thank you very much. The previous speaker and I quite agree with him but I have to tell you that Switzerland in any case is making a little progress because now
five continents have already given rights equal rights to women and they are still expecting the best of them. Within a number of years five years less than five years when you get the voting rights but they agree a little space ambassador in my country who once said why should we give voting rights to women when women in other countries have shown that they don't use them because our particular set up is that we want everybody to participate. That's our way of democracy. And if women do not but this is what do we do with that rhetoric All right this is not to amend statement but I can understand that if this not for the benefit of women anywhere in the earth that when given political rights they do not care of you say thank you. So some of the serious controversy was added to the discussion of women's rights
during a floor addressed by a delegate from Iran. Here is Mr. Amano Shura Ganji who is secretary general of the Center for graduate study and international affairs. Iran Iran. This German I think the one point in this question I can number four current problems with respect to racial discrimination religious intolerance and discrimination against women which should be that to which we should draw our our attention is defacto the rule of nondiscrimination is an international group which finds its place in the charter of the United Nations Charter charter provisions and human rights although not defining
what is meant by human rights and fundamental freedoms. There is one clear obligation undertaken by member states under the charter. In every case where the question of human rights and fundamental freedoms. It is to be found in the charter we find it close to the fact that these should be guaranteed for all. We don't distinction as to race 6 language or religion. They're full member states of the United Nations and have undertaken a legal obligation to guarantee whatever rights they proclaim to be human rights and fundamental freedoms. Your respective oath Race 6 language or religion. Thus if a member state legislation
or practice is contrary to this rule of nondiscrimination it is the question of that state not complying with its international obligation undertaken under the chart. Having said this which I feel should be the central point of consideration of this subsection the question of discrimination itself. I do it is taking a racial or religious discrimination. I do it is a government policy to discriminate such as the policy of government of Union of South Africa Southern Rhodesia. What is actually practiced in sell to a staffer.
Oh no it is not really their policy they declared policy of the government but in fact in practice in defacto The situation is discriminate no. In the first place when it is a government policy. Undoubtedly this should be condemned. Action should be taken on international level regional international level to the extent which could bring about a change in that policy. Only the other hand when it is discrimination in fact and not proclaimed government policy. Unfortunately education and undoubtedly education
plays a very important role. Did all of the education should be emphasized apartheid in education should be should not be practiced equal and separate educational facilities are not the best means of abolishing discrimination on racial grounds or religious grounds particularly for that reason. On the grounds of sex. No I hear see the United Nations naturally undoubtedly within the past 20 years has done a great deal in regards to discrimination on racial grounds religious grounds and the. Also discrimination against women. I feel that United
Nations sent to ship programs under the advisory services could be expanded to include more women. Then it does at present. Countries should be encouraged to place the names of more women candidates for these fellowships. I grieve it Mississipi don't I think on the delegations there are resolutions of General Assembly calling on member states to including India delegation to the General Assembly more women. However there are very important factors which are the Commission on the status of women over and over again has emphasized and which we should keep in mind in drawing up whatever conclusions we may draw up is the fact that women's participation in public life should in no case overshadow
the woman's obligations at home. There is undoubtedly women. Let. Boomers roll at home in raising children and raising citizens future citizens of the world. It is the most important factor. And when we come to consider the questions of participation of women in public life undoubtedly there should be equal treatment facilities. However this should not in my opinion the new circumstances should overshadow the basic obligation. Thank you sir. That was Mr. Amano Sherif Ganji secretary general of the Center for graduate study in
international affairs Tehran. Mr Simple answered one of Mr Gandhi's controversial points by mentioning a proposed right for meme which might come as a surprise to many males around the world. That's a simple thank you. Again thank you very much for all the things which were said by Mr. Ganji and only asking one question. He said something about the basic up Legations for women to take care of their brackets. So I think that we have to question and I will settle this what the basic obligation of laser at home. What is sending additional thinking and what the real difference.
I would like to say that this question we're certainly going to deal with because question. I mean the title heading for this but already calls on the duration of the Efik of the changes in the status of women on the family. I think that varies specially in Sweden and in Finland special moment going on trying to find out what the actual sex roles and what they should be. And you might be interested in hearing what they are suggesting suggesting that even men should have maternity leave. And I can tell you they say that children
should have the opportunity to have one of their parents at home for at least six months after they have been born in order not to discriminate against a mother should be shared by both parents. The mother having the first three months and the father the next three months. Would also help the mother not being discriminated against in the field of employment and occupation because it's not only see who will be from their book and you might be interested in hearing that suggested women but it's suggested a group of young men and women and I think that they agree with the extent that they would like to say should we discriminate against men
and not let them have some of the happiness of children. And that was a final comment by Mrs. healthy Finland. So much for discussion on women's rights at the Assembly for human rights. Closely related to women's rights of course are the rights of children which were highlighted particularly in an assembly presentation by Mr. Leslie PAF RATH president of the Johnson Foundation of Racine Wisconsin cochairman of the assembly the assembly. I feel I must acknowledge the existence of another declaration lest it be considered by those who observe the work of the assembly that this was a willful omission. I refer to the Declaration on the rights of the child. This is a manifesto more on it in the text than in being acted out. Let me just state briefly where
I stand and then draw one of two recommendations. I stand in this position placing two children side by side. They are children entitled to equal development. The child of privilege or the child of the slums wherever they may live. And it's a living hypocrisy to claim in theological terms that all children are equal in the sight of God but not treat them equal in the eyes of men. What situation do we have. We have rampant malnutrition in many parts of the world. Not always limited to the so-called developing nations. We have a dearth of preventive medicine. And we very often have a tragic absence of Applied medicine in relation to the welfare of children. Housing and shelter. We have a quality which creates instability which
stunts and which often mocks the family integrity. We have an absence of adequate educational facilities. The situations where frequently a brick to sit on in a place is ironically even comically called a school. And this is the extent to often of public or private effort to give children the basic intellectual tools for their individual development and a make of them productive members of the human family. Speaking for a moment to Mr. McBride's a pointed and poignant remarks on the brutality of war and its impact on civilians. It's true that we have moved and indeed in observing the brutal destruction of human life in the context of war a part of us dies. It's true that we're
moved by this and Vietnam is in this awe present major anguish. But every day every day there exists in many areas of the world the quiet less visible. Equally immoral equally brutal if slow destruction of life by starvation disease and the accompanying hopelessness. I've seen and we all have photographs showing the hideous effects of napalm or of atomic radiation. But ultimately can we draw a distinction either of moral or practical between the debilitating or the lethal effect of those weapons and the equally brutal those slow destruction by disease and starvation and ignorance which we have the knowledge to meet and cure the tragedy.
Mr. Chairman and colleagues end in a literal sense the obscenity is in our knowledge of the conditions under which children live in many areas and on a limited extension at present of the benefits which technology can bring to those children. I draw them from these brief observations a number of recommendations that the United Nations must intensify its own recommendation that widespread recognition be given the rights set forth in the declaration of the rights of the child. United Nations through appropriate committees should call the attention of its member states a moral obligation which rests on the peoples of the respective nations to create conditions which in fact comply with the text of the Declaration of the rights of the child.
United Nations should as a significant part of its Programme for International year for human rights encourage and actively assist programmes to improve the welfare and development of the child. These programs should involve not only the efforts of governments but the resources the private and non-governmental sectors consideration should be given on the level of highest competence to the elements which might be incorporated into a universal declaration on the rights of the family as a complement to earlier declarations. United Nations should intensify its leadership in bringing him to a close and effective cooperative relationship. The results of the genius of this age of technology and the basic human needs still tragically unmet. Let the best
which is known by the scientists and those skilled in human behavior be marshaled to close the human got. Mr. Chairman in conclusion repeatedly in history there have been instances of the shot heard round the world and the question is have we the capacity to stir and to all men with an anger which will be heard around the world. Can that anger be harnessed into the power which can bring in orderly constructive humane and social change in time. Thank you Mr. Chairman. It's a closed book. Mr. Leslie PAF RATH cochairman of the Assembly for human rights in its closing statement the assembly delegate said this under the heading nondiscrimination quoting in part one should not leave on mentioned discrimination against women which denies them the opportunity to participate in the political affairs of their countries. Equality before the law. Access to educational
facilities equality and employment opportunities and a whole range of other social economic and cultural rights. World public indignation remains furthermore to be aroused to the cruelly discriminatory practices to which both children born out of wedlock and unmarried mothers are subjected by virtue of the laws or customs of many countries. And in another section the statement says the question of the right of family planning is an important new area of concern. Many regard the opportunity for the family itself to determine the number and spacing of children as a basic human right which should be clearly recognised as such. The implementation of such a right requires access to educational information and to proper medical services. This has been another of the special series report from Montreal the assembly for human rights. The assembly was supported by the Johnson Foundation of Racine Wisconsin and other philanthropic organizations.
This program was produced by yours truly Roy Vogelman and Don vaguely at the studios of the Wisconsin state broadcasting service at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. This is the national educational radio network.
Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal
Women's Rights
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-3775z21g).
Series Description
For series info, see Item 3739. This prog.: Women's Rights. Mrs. helvi Sipila, delegate of the UN Commission on the Status of Women; Sir H.O.B. Wooding, Court of Appeals, Trinidad and Tobago; Justice Haim H. Cohn, Israel Supreme Court; Manouchehr Ganji
Social Issues
Global Affairs
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-43-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:28
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal; Women's Rights,” 1968-11-08, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023,
MLA: “Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal; Women's Rights.” 1968-11-08. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <>.
APA: Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal; Women's Rights. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from