5 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 343 (1998-1999)
From Seneca Falls to the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Gauging the Campaign for the Human Rights of Women

handle is hein.journals/ilsaic5 and id is 389 raw text is: FROM. SENECA FALLS TO THE FIFTIETH
ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNIVERSAL
DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS - GAUGING
THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF
WOMEN
Jessica Neuwirth *
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of
Sentiments, a declaration of women's rights adopted in Seneca Falls at a
meeting which inaugurated the women's suffrage movement in the United
States.  This year is also the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, a United Nations document which sets forth
many of the same rights referred to in the Declaration of Sentiments - the
right to education, the right to own property, the right to equality in
marriage, and the right to take part in government.
Many of these rights have been recognized, not only in the United
States but in countries around the world.  These rights are not fully
enjoyed, however, in every country in the world. So how far have we
come and how quickly are we moving forward? The Declaration of
Sentiments complained that the law gave men power to deprive [women]
of liberty and to administer chastisement. The law has changed in this
regard, but there are still 4 million women every year suffering from
domestic violence in the United States. A woman is abused every 15
seconds, and several women are killed every day by domestic violence.
And while domestic violence may now be prohibited by law, it is widely
tolerated by those who are charged with law enforcement.
In 1994 in the State of Maryland, Judge Cahill, on sentencing a man
charged with killing his wife after finding her in bed with someone else,
said sympathetically from the bench, I seriously wonder how many
married men... would have the strength to walk away without inflicting
some corporal punishment, whatever that punishment might be. I shudder
to think what I would do. After an outcry from the women's movement,
Judge Cahill was charged with failing to act during the sentencing hearing
in a manner which promoted public confidence in the impartiality of the
judiciary. But in May 1996 this complaint was dismissed with a finding
that the judge's comments should be read in context. Two women on the
*   Jessica Neuwirth is co-founder and President of Equality Now, an international
human rights organization working for the protection and promotion of women's rights. She has
earned a Bachelor Degree in History, Yale University, 1982; Juris Doctor Degree, Harvard Law
School, 1985.

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