UN Women

The UN Council on Womens right will, for the remainder of this MUN, be debating the following issues:

Addressing the protection of female sexual and reproductive rights

Women´s rights have significantly advanced on the global level over the last few decades. These rights include the right to legal and safe abortion, birth control, freedom from coerced sterilization, right to access good quality reproductive healthcare, and the right to access and make free reproductive choices. The discussion around female sexual and reproductive rights also encompasses practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) as well as sex education, and menstrual health. All of these arise in the context of feminism and human rights, thus there is an emerging need in envisioning the current human rights system as it is: patriarchally structured. Feminist movements invite the global community to question why female sexual and reproductive rights are generally neglected, and thus how more effective protection can be achieved. Therefore, these issues go beyond granting basic women´s rights, but rather dismantling current structures of power, sustained by male hierarchy.

The concept of family – moving away from the traditional notion to including new conceptions of gender, love and family?

Recent developments of international law move away from traditional concepts of a family, referring to heterosexual monogamous married couples, to more inclusive notions encompassing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families. This progress reaches to accommodate, and more importantly protect fundamental human rights of these groups, therefore creating a more inclusive society. This alternative idea of a family, however, is not generally accepted (yet). Mostly moral and religious grounds are the main arguments invoked as to reject it. Nevertheless, many Human Rights instruments advise States to recognize and ensure these rights. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, for instance, as the most progressive body, already pronounced itself on this matter by established LGBT rights as human rights. Such a decision shocked, and was denounced by, highly religious Latin American (and other States), such as Chile which directly rejected implementing the decision. Therefore, what is the future of the traditional concept of family? How can different emerging trends be accommodated, while still ensuring fundamental human rights protection?