Women leaders from around have been in attendance at the United Nations’ World Conference Against Racism to ensure that the intersection of race and gender remained a central issue throughout the conference, which ends on Friday. While the World Conference Against Racism did not place gender on the agenda or consider it on the same level as racism, more than 40 parallel events offered the opportunity to explore the connections between racism and gender.
Mary Robinson, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued a 34-page report entitled, “Gender Dimensions of Racial Discrimination.”
“Understanding the gender dimensions of racial discrimination is essential for designing responses to racial discrimination that are effective for both men and women,” wrote Robinson. “Clearly, the gender dimensions of racial discrimination are complex and varied. Yet, this very complexity requires the attention of the member states, national institutions, civil society and the United Nations in order to address the problem.”
Issues addressed by women’s rights leaders included the denial and restriction of women’s and girls’ basic rights to nutrition, health care, education, equality, livelihood, and life.