Appeasing China, Demonstrations, News Item, Tibet, Uncategorized

Revealed! Why UN Women Stay Silent On Forced Sterilizations

blogthree

Image: @tibettruth

It’s arrived, the final day of the United Nations Commission On The Status Of Women (UNCSW) meeting in New York. A lot of folks will have seen, or been following our activism in exposing and challenging the censorship, which this event regularly imposes upon the subject of forced sterilizations. We’ve been greatly assisted in bringing awareness of this matter by our many friends on Twitter. Thanks to such solidarity and 24/7 action from @tibettruth people across social media are discovering the hypocrisy, denial and evasion, from organizations who declare themselves as champions of women’s human rights. There remains however the big question, and we are asked a lot about this, why is this horrifying example of violence against women being ignored?

Well here’s our take, drawn from years of campaigning, research, writing and lobbying on this issue. There’s a number of forces at work within the annual session of the UNCSW and the parallel Non-Government Forum which ensure the topic is not included.

1) A prevailing belief, though not often allowed expression, in which family-planning (including the brutal and coercive kind) is seen as enabling women a greater chance to enjoy more fully educational and employment opportunities and economic progress.

2) There’s also an unthinking subscription to the flawed and outdated Malthusian demographic model linking ‘sustainable’ population levels to resources. Those following this concept naturally find all sorts of rationalizations to reducing the global population. The result is a dangerous and delusional tolerance towards coercive birth control, on the basis of ‘the greater good’!

blogone

Image: @tibettruth

3) On the surface there’s an almost convincing display of unity of purpose from those in attendance, everyone seems to be ‘on message’ (so much so that the jargon and slogans which endlessly fill the cavernous interiors of the UN seem to be engineered!) But below the collectively synchronized rhetoric there’s a noticeable fragmentation. Or perhaps compartmentalization would best describe it. A developed sense of the myopic with each NGO so consumed with its own agenda or topic that it becomes either indifferent too and or ignorant of any issue beyond the lens of its preoccupation.

4) Lastly, and perhaps the most influencing factor which censors any mention of forced sterilizations, is that exerted by a hierarchy. We’ve seen it operate over a few years now, populated by a handful of politically positioned individuals. They occupy key roles within both the UNCSW and UN Women and are supported by what is effectively an executive cabal drawn from a range of leading Women’s groups. The record of these organizations concerning the subject of forced sterilizations is evidence enough that they are extremists, who have long ago abandoned any sense of conscience or integrity in exchange for the benefits of career, status and self-promotion. With such a mindset steering events is it any wonder that the suffering inflicted by forced sterilizations is willfully ignored?

blogtwo

Image: @tibettruth

We have been in and out of the CSW61 since March 11, it’s not been easy witnessing the censorship and manipulation which operates, yet clearly there are some well motivated people who attend. Others are so carried away by the event that no critical assessment of procedures is possible. Many are distracted by their selective cause, while some  wander from meeting to meeting in wide-eyed naivety, while the anointed few guarantee the chosen agenda is promoted. Everywhere the officially approved sound-bytes are repeated, more in an act of faith than critical examination, in that sense it has all the superficiality and troubling phoniness of a cult. The adherents of this ideology are convinced that in following the creed (packaged, marketed and sold by the UNCSW) they are advancing women’s rights. Maybe they are. But only those meeting the approval of, and conforming to, the politically correct orthodoxy!

Appeasing China, Demonstrations, Miscellaneous, Tibet

Women’s NGOs Bang The Drum On Reproductive Rights YET Stay Silent On China’s Forced Sterilizations!

Image:sctimes

What are reproductive rights? Well if you ask the majority of women attending #csw61 in New York, (a back-slapping festival hosted by the United Nations Commission On The Status On Women-UNCSW), the response would focus on making available family planning education and resources. Which by extension enables a woman to determine freely when to give birth and how many children she wishes. The consequences of such provision include improved health, along with economic and social benefits for women currently denied such choices, that access to family planning. Not only that but in providing family planning to women it seems we can also tackle the major environmental issue of climate change, a topic that has been woven into the reproductive rights argument at recent UN discussions, partly as a political move to enhance the arguments being presented and as an encouragement for further support from within the environmental movement. If you had any doubts at the global impact of family planning as a supposed panacea to the world’s primary challenge be convinced by the words of Huffington Post contributor Diane MacEachern.

“Because ensuring that women have full reproductive rights creates one of the most desirable “two-fers” on the planet. Complete access to voluntary family planning is among the quickest, simplest, and most affordable ways to improve women’s quality of life. It is also one of the most direct, immediate and cost-effective ways to reduce climate change. In fact, studies show that slowing population growth by giving women access to the contraception they already want could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 8 and 15 percent — roughly equivalent to ending all tropical deforestation.” (Source: Women Leave Rio+20 Motivated to Galvanize Sustainability Around Family Planning and Reproductive Rights. 7.02.2012

It is an attractive and persuasive argument and no doubt embraced with zeal by environmentalists and feminists, yet in the clamor to press the logic and justice of such reasoning the debates at UN forums, while articulating reproductive rights consistently fail to address a hugely important element of women’s reproductive freedoms, a woman’s right to be able to determine, without coercion, the spacing and number of children. Now this right (which was formalized at the ICPD and is reflected in CEDAW) is purely theoretical for the countless millions of women who suffer China’s forced sterilizations and forced abortions, for them there are no reproductive freedoms, only a highly draconian and totalitarian system that enforces a range of coercive measures upon women to make them comply with the dictates of the state. Should financial penalties, arbitrary arrest, confiscation of property or loss of employment and housing rights fail women face the horrors of forced sterilization.

Unfortunately, as occurs regularly at the UNCSW, this gross violation of women’s human rights remains a taboo subject, marginalized,evaded and callously ignored by women’s NGOs during debates on reproductive rights. Yet without ensuring human rights are central to the provision of population control policies and practice, arguing for greater reproductive choice and services is divested of credibility and ethical authority. Yes reproductive rights are advanced by providing family planning resources and associated education programs, but they must also include the right of a woman not to be viciously assaulted by the state, denied control over her own body and suffer harrowing medical atrocities under the name of population control. Nor is it enough to claim such rights are enshrined in international statutes such as CEDAW and the ICPD while China enforces a program that so violently trashes those principles, yet the champions of reproductive freedoms offer not a word of opposition or condemnation. Informed and free choice yes, education and access to family planning by all means, but should not those who campaign on such issues be demanding those freedoms and services are extended to women suffering China’s population control policies?