Repeal discriminatory laws

Over 60 years ago, countries adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” That fundamental right has echoed for decades in conferences, treaties, and declarations. Almost 17 years ago, in the Platform for Action adopted in Beijing, 189 governments agreed that laws that discriminate against women undermine equality and pledged to “revoke any remaining laws that discriminate on the basis of sex.” Yet inequality, even in its most overt form, has not been vanquished.

While discrimination against women persists around the world in many forms, laws that explicitly discriminate against women demonstrate State backing of discrimination and symbolize the clear disrespect of governments for the fundamental right of women to equality and official endorsement of women as being of lesser worth than men.

In 2010, Equality Now updated its report (the Beijing +15 report) on discriminatory laws around the world, which was originally published in 1999 (the Beijing +5 report) and updated in 2004 (the Beijing +10 report).  The Beijing +15 report highlighted a sampling of sex discriminatory laws that remained in force in 36 countries around the world at the time of publication. Equality Now will be issuing a Beijing + 20 report for the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action in early 2015.

This petition calls on the governments of the following countries to repeal or amend the laws still highlighted in the Beijing +15 report as well as other currently applicable sex-discriminatory laws: Afghanistan, Algeria, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Bolivia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Yemen.

TEXT OF PETITION:

Good laws that put women on an equal footing with men, are necessary to protect and promote women's rights and facilitate their full social, economic and political participation. Legal equality gives women a level playing field from which to build their capabilities and realize their hopes and dreams, positively affecting development of society in general.

We call on your government to repeal or amend, as a matter of urgency, the sex discriminatory law highlighted in Equality Now's attached report, Words and Deeds: Holding Governments Accountable in the Beijing +15 Review Process, as well as any other currently applicable law that discriminates against women and girls. We urge you to live up to your commitment made in the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action to “revoke any remaining laws that discriminate on the basis of sex.”
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  • 1-25 of 1713 signatures
    Number Date Name Location Add a personal comment to ...
    1713 Mon Jun 16 21:16:07 EDT 2014 Maricruz Lopez El Paso, TX , US
    1712 Thu May 01 22:33:18 EDT 2014 Carly Pasenow Middletown, OH , US
    1711 Sat Mar 08 20:01:07 EST 2014 Judith Jordan Kamloops, BC , CA
    1710 Wed Jan 29 22:35:17 EST 2014 Adela Brent Q, AU Women have rights and they must be respected. Governments and States have the responsibility to protect women and girls from violence. Enough is enough.
    1709 Mon Sep 09 12:27:37 EDT 2013 Samyaka Verma Winnipeg, MB , Canada
    1708 Sat Aug 03 00:44:40 EDT 2013 Laura Miller Darwen, ot , GB
    1707 Mon Jun 24 14:37:54 EDT 2013 Kendra Maslowski Chehalis, Select a state , US
    1706 Thu Apr 11 18:33:28 EDT 2013 Char Fortney Clarkston, WA , United States
    1705 Thu Apr 11 00:11:21 EDT 2013 Tory McCrea Austin, TX , United States
    1704 Tue Mar 19 13:19:26 EDT 2013 Marlene Hester New Orleans, Select a state , US
    1703 Sun Feb 24 09:55:58 EST 2013 French Guevarra Bergenfield, NJ , US
    1702 Tue Feb 19 12:30:20 EST 2013 Sheena Visti Garfield, NJ , US
    1701 Fri Feb 08 23:20:12 EST 2013 Carlye Hooten Kamuela, HI , United States
    1700 Thu Jan 10 17:50:54 EST 2013 Kyla Hodges Stamford, CT , United States
    1699 Sat Jan 05 23:29:03 EST 2013 Dixie Lee Howe Challenge, CA , US
    1698 Thu Dec 27 10:36:17 EST 2012 Gia D'Amico Virginia Beach, VA , US
    1697 Tue Dec 18 16:09:32 EST 2012 Anonymous London, United Kingdom
    1696 Wed Dec 12 09:52:14 EST 2012 Jennifer Goode Austin, TX , US
    1695 Tue Dec 04 20:23:20 EST 2012 Anje Scarfe ADELAIDE, SA , AUSTRALIA
    1694 Fri Nov 30 17:12:56 EST 2012 Chelsea Bennett VIC , AUSTRALIA
    1693 Sat Nov 24 17:09:54 EST 2012 Maegan Gaw Sudbury, MA , United States
    1692 Wed Nov 14 04:52:01 EST 2012 Danielle Bauer Molalla, OR , US
    1691 Mon Oct 08 16:08:42 EDT 2012 Bev Blundell Pemberton , BC , CA
    1690 Sat Sep 29 13:05:12 EDT 2012 Hara Davis Whitby, United Kingdom
    1689 Sun Sep 23 13:19:51 EDT 2012 Bev Blundell Pemberton , BC , CA
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    To learn more about this campaign:
    http://www.equalitynow.org/beijing15