The British government is at present considering whether or not to ratify the UN “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women,” reports the Family Bulletin of The Responsible Society, a British group. Since this Convention was opened for signature in 1980, 81 countries, including Canada have signed, but many of these have not yet taken the more drastic step of ratifying it.
The Convention is revolutionary in its approach to the family. It claims “a change in the traditional role of men as well as women in society and in the home is needed.”
The recurrent theme is the need to get as many women as possible out to work; the Convention argues not for equal opportunity, but for “maximum participation of women… in all fields,” and governments will be required to take measures of positive discrimination to achieve this. All benefits for women which are called for are aimed at wage-earning women; the woman’s role as wife and mother is never alluded to. Governments would be obliged to provide a “network of child-care facilities” to enable women to return to work as soon as possible after childbirth. Apart from the expense to the taxpayer, the effect on family life of such policies would be incalculable.
The Convention defines discrimination against women as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status… of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social … or any other field.”
This definition is so broad that its application by the courts would have no limit. It could be used to outlaw segregated toilets, hospital wards and prisons. It would prevent employers from restricting jobs to men on any grounds. For example, in New York a group of women who wished to be firemen (or firewomen) took the Fire Dept. to court, alleging that the requirement that a fireman must be able to carry unconscious people from burning buildings discriminated against women. They won the case, and the Fire Dept. was forced to lower its standards.
Countries ratifying the Convention will be required to change their laws and constitutions and to “force compliance by any person, organization or enterprise” to see that its aims are implemented. The scope of action envisaged by the Convention is limitless – there are no exceptions. Single-sex schools, clubs and institutions would fall foul of the new laws which would have to be introduced.
Article 5 commits governments to modifying “social and cultural patterns” to eliminate “prejudices and … practices” based on “the idea of inferiority …or on stereotyped roles.”
Here we enter the realm of mind-control. Countries are obliged to alter their cultural patterns to comply with standards dreamt up by a committee of “experts” at the UN. To suggest that men are better at lifting heavy loads than women, or that women are better at looking after or even at nursing babies than men, would be actionable as the promotion of stereotypes. This elimination of stereotypes would involve “the revision of textbooks and school programmes and the adaptation of teaching methods.” So our children would be propagandized by those who seek to destroy traditional patterns of family life.
Coincidently, the International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF) has just recently published “The Human Right to Family Planning,” which contains a similar agenda.
It is important to note that this report uses “family planning” interchangeably with “fertility control” and has nothing to do with marriage or family life. Its recommendations are not just for parents, nor even for couples, but for individuals. The use of the word “family” thus becomes meaningless.
Abortion to all
Abortion and sterilization are included in ‘the right to have access to all safe and effective methods of fertility regulation.’ This goes beyond what most people would understand by “family planning.”
The report contains many controversial proposals, including the provision of contraception for 10-year-olds. The Interim will try to provide a full discussion on the report in our next issue.
One section of the report, however is of urgent attention to countries debating ratification of the UN Convention on Women. The IPPF Report admits that although, at the moment, they speak of family planning as a human right, it “falls into a category of human rights which are relatively novel and unenforceable.”
However, an Appendix explains clearly the tactics generally used by those who promote abortion and mount attacks on the family – the same means used to install our own abortion law. This “right” (“family” planning), it is explained …can be legally enforceable by attaching it to one or two of the most basic human rights… the human right to family planning is included as an element of non-discriminatory rights in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. This Convention is legally enforceable against those ratifying states which have not yet taken appropriate measures to ensure that women and men have “the same right to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights.”
In view of the contents of the IPPF Report, and in particular of the interpretation of “family planning” used therein, it is clear that governments which ratify the Un Convention will find themselves being pressured to introduce the most liberal provision of contraception and of abortion to all, including to young children.
Such delicate matters are more properly the province of individual and cultural autonomy, and are not suitable subjects for international legislation. Governments should be left free to respond to the needs and feelings of their own people, and to act in accordance with their own traditions and culture.
Governments ratifying the UN Convention will find themselves accountable to a Committee of Supervision which will have powers to send teams of ‘experts’ into countries not progressing quickly enough towards their goals. It is noticeable that, of the 56 countries which have so far ratified, most are either communist regimes or subject to other forms of totalitarian government. There are few democracies and only two English-speaking nations. Canada is one of them.