Increased Efforts by Modern States to Improve their Reputations for Enforcing Women's Human Rights

Kara Alaimo


This study suggests that, since the year 2000, governments have been making greater claims and efforts to enforce women’s human rights. However, their motivations appear to be to improve their reputations in the international community rather than to protect women. The findings indicate that states are submitting reports to the United Nations on their progress eliminating discrimination against women on a timelier basis. Case studies of Eritrea, Thailand, and Yemen find that they report greater efforts to combat human trafficking—which spills across national borders and is thus visible to the international community—than to combat violence against women, a crime that is heinous and pervasive but often happens behind closed doors. This suggests that the nations’ motivations are largely reputational.


state reputations, women’s human rights, United Nations, violence against women, human trafficking

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