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In the wake of terror, UN Watch too castigates Pakistan, Iran, and Burma for violation of Women’s Rights in one of its Minority Forum Session

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights consider education to be a basic human right

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Wome being used as carriers of Islamic Militant attacks Images source:Wikimedia Commons

August 27, 2016: When a human is tagged and discriminated on the basis of religion and gender, humanity dies right at that moment. UN Watch, whose stated mission is “to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter” has come up with the list of countries which are a shame on humanity.

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights consider education to be a basic human right. Access to education in many parts of the world is challenging, but it is especially difficult in areas where minority women face bigotry because of their gender and their status as a minority.

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In one of its UN Minority Forum sessions of Human Rights Council, UN Watch too had focussed on the issues related to discrimination against minority women in certain countries, under the agenda of Right to education. An intern with the UN watch, Angela Farmer pointed out that Iran, Pakistan, and Burma; routinely discriminate against women belonging to minority groups of their respective countries.

Pakistan has a history of sectarian attacks, which continue with impunity, particularly against minorities. Hindu girls bear the brunt of religious discriminations and face massive obstacles on their way to education.

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Female teachers often face threats from militants, and the schools open for women are less than 25% of the total number of schools in Pakistan. There are holidays for Muslim and Christian festivals but not for Hindus.  Some regions do not allow educations to girls at all citing “religious beliefs” as the reason.

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The discrimination against Baha’i women in Iran is of grave concern, which has caught the attention as well as received criticism of both, Mr. Ban-ki moon, the UN-secretary, and the UN general assembly’s third Committee- which deals with human rights. While Muslim women have access to education; Baha’i women are barred from the university education.

Burma persecutes women of Muslim minority groups of Rohingyas, denying them citizenship. The Rohingyas women have been inflicted upon with atrocities by the government itself. Mass military rapes of Rohingyas have been reported by the Freedom House, a US-based research agency. Due to Fear of their lives, many Rohingyas women have fled to Bangladesh. The special rapporteur on human rights in Burma has expressed serious concern for the Rohingyas population, referring to “Endemic discrimination against the Muslim minority.”

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Toxicity in Air Affects Children’s Brain Development: UNICEF

UNICEF has warned that air pollution affects a child's brain development

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Brain Development
According to UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, air pollution toxicity can affect children's brain development. Pixabay

Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore has warned that air pollution toxicity can affect children’s brain development and called for urgent action to deal with the crisis gripping India and South Asia.

“I saw first-hand how children continue to suffer from the dire consequences of air pollution,” Fore, who recently visited India, said on Wednesday.

“The air quality was at a crisis level. You could smell the toxic fog even from behind an air filtration mask,” she added.

Air pollution affects children most severely and its effects continue all their lives because they have smaller lungs, breathe twice as fast as adults and lack immunities, Fore said.

Brain Development
Air pollution damages brain tissue and undermines brain development in babies and young children. Pixabay

She added that it “damages brain tissue and undermines cognitive development in babies and young children, leading to lifelong consequences that can affect their learning outcomes and future potential. There is evidence to suggest that adolescents exposed to higher levels of air pollution are more likely to experience mental health problems”.

“Unicef is calling for urgent action to address this air quality crisis,” affecting 620 million children in South Asia.

Also Read- Snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir to Help Bring Pollution Down in Neighbouring States

Schools were closed in Delhi till Tuesday because of the severe environmental situation caused by post-harvest burning of stubble in neighbouring states.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Sunday touched 625, considered “severe plus” level. (IANS)