How did women influence the drafting process and the outcome of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

After World War II the international community felt a need to recognize human rights in the form of a universal document which would pertain to all peoples of the world. The newly founded United Nations decided to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), and, in an unprecedented manner, strived for cultural, racial and gender diversity in the process. The role of women in the drafting of the Declaration has largely been omitted in historiography, but new research shows how important their contributions were to the ‘universal’ aspect of the document. This article examines their influence on the drafting of each article and the final outcome of the Declaration with the use of official UN records to show which rights they were fighting to secure.

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