Posted by: ryandensley17 | March 10, 2016

The U.N. Investigation

I think the saying goes that if you find something on the Internet, then it is absolutely true. Or maybe it is the other way around…? Several weeks ago, a suggested post popped up on Facebook containing the link to an article. At first, I thought it a satirical article or something made up online, imagine that. However, after doing a little bit of research, I came to find out that this is a real investigation the U.N. performed in 2015. The actual article can be found at this link:

I know at several points during the semester we have talked about readings and how we do not see them applying to current conditions or being a little outdated in regards to conditions for women in America. The U.N. sent these three women who are experts in human rights to evaluate America’s treatment of women in a variety of fields. The article makes a big point about the abortion clinic these women visited in Alabama, relating the men protesting outside to terrorists, as they launch insults and harass these women that are not even going to get an abortion. They are not even pregnant. “Terrorists” is such a strong in this country, but as I read that sentence, I understood exactly what they meant. This is quite a contested issue in this country, especially within the Christian community. In Kentucky, the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate has heated up so much, one lawmaker proposed another bill in an effort to prove a point:

I think the women have a point when one of them says, “So many people really believe that U.S. women are way better off with respect to rights than any woman in the world.” Are women content with what they have? Are things equal in any sense of the word? Are they at least fair? Truthfully, I do not know. Many of the suggestions the women made were things that I never had even thought about, but could definitely see them as obstacles for women. For instance, campaign fundraising reform would never cross my mind as a solution to a problem I had not even really connected. Elected office is something that has come up multiple times as an area that women have struggled in, could this be the solution? How about being one of three countries in the world that does not guarantee paid maternity leave? One part of me wonders what other two countries do not make this guarantee, and the other thinks about this effect on women in any job or leadership role. I did not even realize that the minimum wage was an issue that targeted more women then men, but I think it goes to an even bigger problem. We, Americans, have this pride of being a democracy and having all of these rights, but just like at our start, we value women at a lower amount than men. These women’s findings are embarrassing and I wonder what the response will be upon their official release in June. Whatever they say, I think it is clear that America still has a lot of work to do.



  1. Wow, those were both insane articles! I had known a little bit about the maternity leave stuff but I didn’t really know about any of the rest of it. It is really eye-opening to see a country that has such strong patriotism be so neglectful and discriminatory to half of its population. But, hopefully with the leadership of some women in power now, like Mary Lou Marzian from your second article, some of the issues will start being brought into the light of the population and things will start changing for this (not so) great country. Like with all the things we’ve been talking about, in order for women to be taken care of, more women need to be in power.

    Also side note, I LOVE that Marzian introduced that bill. That is absolutely incredible and will HOPEFULLY make a few of the older gentlemen think about what they are saying and doing to control women.

  2. Elizabeth, I think you hit it right on the head with your comments. As citizens of the United States, we identify our international title as the “Leader of the Free World.” We are so proud about our democracy and the rights we provide every citizen, but this investigation reveals a stark reality. The curtain is pulled away to reveal that there are still lots of barriers that women must hurdle to enjoy those same rights and freedoms. Are we really a leader in human rights if half of our population is being neglected? I think I brought up Marzian introducing that bill as an example of someone challenging the male dominated establishment. Women are going to have to step up and take a stand against offensive gender roles and the inequality women face all over our society. Women may have finally busted that glass ceiling, but I think they have not quite gotten out of the labyrinth and the UN investigators would agree based on their observations.

  3. Ryan, we live it a crazy world. I think it is insane that paid maternity leave is not a guarantee for every women in every country. Another crazy issue your post reminded me of is that if a women is raped and decides to have the child, the rapist is allowed to seek custody. When I heard this I was completely dumb founded. That seems totally ridiculous to me. The women has already been through so much and our law is letting her down. America is supposed to be the land of the free where dreams come true, but unless some changes are made women will continue to not feel as free as men. Women who make up half of the population should not feel like second class citizens. I too am excited to see when the investigation is released what attention it receives and if any changes are made.

  4. The US always has work to do, but very few people take the batter seriously until the UN does an investigation (there is a very similar investigation on how black students are treated in public schools) and shows that something is wrong. Many female leaders are put down based on their choices about motherhood. If you don’t become a mother, it’s a problem; if you do, it’s a problem. Women can’t win in this case. As for maternity leave, recent articles suggest that America and Papua New Guinea are the last two without the guarantee, and Papua New Guinea is working on it. Hopefully the UN investigation will raise more awareness since feminists who bring up the inequality are sometimes seen as crazy man-haters.

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