September 10, 1999
Volume 1/ Number 17
Dear Friend and Colleague:
In the latest issue of the PRI Review (June/July 1999), human rights expert and founding member of Australians for Population Justice, Rita M. Joseph, describes how the crusade for radical feminist rights has advanced the population control movement through the United Nations Conference circuit. Joseph’s expertise and insights are especially timely considering the recent and controversial Cairo+5 UN meeting in New York that trampled parental rights and promoted sexual rights for children; along with the almost continuous preparation now occupying feminist NGOs around the world for the upcoming five year review of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing (1995) (cf. “Feminist NGOs Rev Up for Review of Beijing Women’s Conference,” C-FAM, Friday Fax, 2 September 1999).
Steven W. Mosher
Feminist Rights Agenda Storms United Nations
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — According to internationally acclaimed human rights expert Rita M. Joseph, a founding member of Australians for Population Justice, the population control lobby that stormed the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development has three major, global objectives:
To manipulate women into having fewer children than they want.
To convince women and adolescent girls into believing that their fertility threatens the sustainability of the world’s resources.
To promote the sterility of homosexual relationships as “ecologically responsible.”
These population control “objectives,” Joseph writes, dovetail neatly with the three major objectives of the feminist rights agenda:
To ensure that access to abortion is a basic human right.
To “liberate” adolescent sexuality from parental supervision by “educating” adolescents in their “new” human rights to abortion without parental notification.
To assign the same rights and privileges to homosexual relationships as to traditional marriages and the founding of the family.
The feminist-population control coalition has conveniently provided the fringe ideology of radical feminism with millions of dollars from well-funded population control interests around the world. In return, hard-to-sell population control programs gain legitimacy by riding into mainstream human rights discourse tied to the apron-strings of “reproductive rights.”
“Radical feminism … is being imposed on countries through the prescriptive documents coming from the UN Conference circuit and from the UN treaty monitoring bodies, especially the Human Rights Committee and the Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW),” reports Joseph.
“The objective is to bring the radical feminist directives in these documents from their current legally non-binding status into the arena of legally-binding international human rights law. The basic plan is ingeniously simple. The idea is to couch the feminist agenda in the language of human rights”, and then assert the ascendancy of human rights over the sovereign rights of nations.
Controversy has dogged this program every step of the way, such as the kind that erupted at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, when the UN Secretariat tried to force the pseudo-rights of “abortion, sexual and reproductive autonomy for adolescents and homosexual family formation for homosexuals” into the Draft Programme of Action.
Rejected at Cairo, “women’s reproductive and sexual rights” were moved into the human rights arena in the final throes of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing the following year, by what Joseph describes as a “masterly slight of hand”. Invoking the priority of rights over national sovereignty, any legal, cultural or religious opposition expressed by individual countries to all that is implied in the term “reproductive health” could no longer be recognized as a legitimate reason for not complying with these newfangled “health rights” which were lobbied into existence by first-world feminists generally at the expense of their sisters in the developing world.
However, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969) states that international law shall be drafted and “interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given… in their context and in the light of its objective and purpose” (Article 31, “General Rule of Interpretation 1”). “Reproductive rights” as redefined by the feminist-population control alliance, have nothing to do with the “ordinary meaning” of the terms. They are quite extraordinary, Joseph concludes, and should therefore be rejected.