Defending Sexual Freedom on Human Rights Day

Defending Sexual Freedom on Human Rights Day

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. […] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.” — Eleanor Roosevelt


Happy Human Rights Day! Today marks the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , a document that identified the inalienable rights to which everyone is inherently entitled as a human being — regardless of race, religion, sex, language, political opinion, national or social origin, property, or birth status.

Every day Woodhull works to secure and protect human rights. Using the UDHR as our framework, Woodhull centers sexual freedom as a fundamental human right that cannot be separated from each of the articles outlined.

Eleanor Roosevelt holds up the UN Declaration on Human Rights in black and white
Eleanor Roosevelt holds up the UN Declaration on Human Rights

Among the biggest barriers to the full protection of these rights are ongoing attacks on bodily autonomy. If we have a right to freedom from violence, then that includes freedom from sexual violence. If we have a right to form families and enter into marriages, then we have a right to choose partners regardless of gender or sexuality without fear of discrimination, harassment, or prosecution. If every human being has a right to work and be paid to support themselves, and a right to autonomy over their body, then the rights of sex workers must be protected as well.

This work can not be done alone. Each of us has a stake in the future of human rights. An attack on one of us, is an attack on all of us. Each time one of us stands up against injustice, discrimination, and violence we are helping protect human rights for us all. Together, we are stronger and louder. Help us continue this important work.


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