Article 7: Equality Before the Law

  • All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Every human should have the same rights and be treated equally under the law. This basically means that individuals or groups of people, for example, Jews, Arabs, disabled, women, etc., can not be above or below the law. Everybody is entitled to the same protection, rights, and procedures. This is closely linked to Article 2; The Right to Freedom from Discrimination. All are equal before the law, which means that the law applies equally to everyone and that you may not be discriminated against as explained in the QHRC Anti-discrimination Act 1991.

Today there are a few exceptions from this right in many countries. For example, convicted pedophiles can not work with children, people with epileptics can not become a pilot, children can not obtain driver’s licenses, etc. These are not seen as violations against Human Rights, even though they are laws that are based on excluding different groups of people, because it has a practical and preventive goal. 

Women face legal discrimination in many parts of the world. The act of Honour Killings still exists all over the world but is especially common in Pakistan, India, Iraq, and Egypt. Honour killings are the term used for when a family member, usually male, kills another family member, usually female because the honour of the family has been compromised. In most cases, it is either the husband, brother, or the father of a female who will kill them. The most common reasons for being subject to honour killings are connected to sex or pregnancy before marriage, adultery, refusing an arranged marriage, filing for divorce, etc. In most cases, the suspicion of such actions is enough to kill the woman, even though it is not confirmed. In 2015 almost 1100 incidents of honour killings were reported in Pakistan. In many cases, the murderer will not face severe punishment for its crime, as they are often pardoned by an elderly family member to save honour. Honour killings are often a cultural and traditionally accepted practice to save the grace of one’s family. This practice is very problematic on many levels, but in regards to this article of the human rights, it strips women of the same legal protections as men. The women are viewed as less worthy in the eyes of law and have to follow the traditional rules set by their male family members.

Written by Nanna Orloff Mortensen

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