women's rights are human rights

Many thanks to Giselle Portenier of Toronto for this excellent letter in yesterday's Globe and Mail.
I am concerned about continued references in the press and by government ministers to "women's rights" when discussing atrocities committed against women in Afghanistan and elsewhere - honour killings, rape, executions, female genital mutilation, enslavement (MPs Furious Law Stifling Women's Rights Passed - April 15).

We don't cite "men's rights" when we talk about torture in Abu Ghraib, or "men's rights" when we report on political assassinations of men.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights makes no distinction between "men's rights" and "women's rights." They're just fundamental, basic, human rights.

Abuses committed against women are not issues of "women's rights." They are abuses of women's human rights. It's just one extra little word, but it goes a long way in affirming just where we, as human beings, stand on these issues.

Giselle Portenier

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