So what's the problem? All over the world, basic human rights against women are being violated and it has severe impact and implications on the world population.

Forced child marriage, honour killings, rape, the glass ceiling, forced labour, religious oppression, female genital mutilation, unsafe abortions, poverty, economic inequality, lack of education, sex trafficking, unequal health opportunities - just to name a few - are more prevalent than you could ever imagine.

In 1948, the United Nations drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a response to the Holocaust. The goal of the UDHR was to prevent a disaster like the Holocaust to ever happen again. The 30 articles laid out in the UDHR aim to protect against violations to any person, regardless of gender, sex, orientation, race, colour, etc. 

48 countries have signed the Universal Declaration of Human rights. Because it is not legally binding, these countries are free to decide whether or not they want to ratify the UDHR into their individual constitutions. 

State sovereignty overrides rulings by the Human Rights Committee (UN) who oversee and defend the UDHR. Often, governments turn a blind eye to human rights violations if it is in the best interest of them politically. 

The problem is that all of these human rights issues are interlinked. Increased gender violence leads to worsened economies. Countries in conflict and war have higher reports of rape. Female genital mutilation can be lessened with increased education for women. The glass ceiling can be shattered with the eradication of gender stereotypes. 

This is why International Women's Initiative works not only to educate about these issues, but to provide resources to women to improve their situations. Calling upon the United Nations to provide sanctions to countries who do not follow the UDHR is not enough. We must act immediately to make a difference in the lives of women, and reach out to assure that women are being properly educated.