The United States is known for its liberality, which extends to aspects of government. The state has been the cornerstone to any form of political expression for the last four decades. Over the years, the United States has made remarkable achievements in human rights promotion. Mostly, this has been achieved through legislation that is strictly intended to protect freedoms. Hence, the US government, as well as a number of international bodies, have enjoyed various levels of success in human rights protection. For example, when looking at gender equality, it will be noted that women have gained a lot over the past 100 years compared to what they were able to achieve during the previous two centuries (O’Hanlon 34).

However, this is not so much of a great accomplishment considering that many people have suffered enormous losses and many are still suffering in other parts of the world (Lunardi 75). Many other individuals are being mistreated and oppressed just because of their ethnic background. Hence, there are cases where people have been neglected and disregarded due to their race, religion, beliefs and political affiliations. Despite the USA being one of the most developed countries globally in terms of socio-economic conditions, the rest of the world is living in deplorable conditions. This essay provides an exegetical approach to gender equality through an analytical examination of the various liberation struggles regarding freedom for women.

Human Rights Commission

The Commission on Human Rights was founded by Eleanor Roosevelt in order to help safeguard the civil rights of all Americans (Banks 85). She enforced the UN Charter, which gave birth to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. One can say that the human rights law was a response from the US to ensure that no American ever encroached upon the rights of another fellow citizen. Notably, this document applied mainly to white people, but at a time when people faced oppression from some governments that were then governing different African countries. Therefore, they saw the need to strive for self-rule as well as self-determination (Matzko 96). Self-government was referred to as a struggle for “self-determination.” Thus, the major feature that characterized this political movement for many years was their right for self-rule.

Self-rule meant that people had to be self-reliant and self-sufficient. This brought into question the concept of democracy and one nation’s right to rule itself. It did not stop at that point either, for the United States kept on expanding its territories throughout the South, Africa, Latin America, Asia and Central America. Thus, with its zeal to extend its influence overseas, the US government needed to provide more military support as well as foreign aid. Consequently, this ushered in yet another era of interventionism. Interventionism was the strategy that the US employed to take control of areas occupied by locals who posed some form of threat to its interests.

On the other hand, apartheid could be described as a form of exploitative political system in which one group wielded power over another. Thus, it was a means of securing land from the indigenous people who resided on the land and, therefore, perpetrated the process of colonization. The apartheid laws took effect in 1948 after many years of struggle between the Dutch settlers and the British colonialists. During this period, many blacks sought refuge in Canada, but some stayed back since they felt like they had a chance to exploit the situation by becoming landowners. However, this did not turn out as expected, since the white majority had already started migrating to the North in search of greener fields.

Anti-apartheid Movement

Since the state was supported mostly by white farmers, these two groups always clashed with the blacks and the Jews. That is why they established the National Party, which later became known as the Nationalist Party. They believed that the ANC was a threat to their political ambitions and vowed to neutralize them. Thus, they mobilized some troops to invade the region inhabited by the Jews and the Afrikaners. They killed thousands of people and burned down most properties that belonged to the Jews. Their leader, Herman Coetzee, declared war against the Zionist Organization of America and even threatened to carry out a massive assault on Israel if the Arab community supported him. As a result, this marked the beginning of the “war for independence” in Southern Africa and the “Zionist cause” (Berman 132). Hence, Zionism began as a political movement aimed at creating an independent state for both Jews and Arabs. Thereafter, the struggle began under the banner of “North versus South” and was to be decided in favor of the latter. Thus, in the end, the Jewish settlers won, and the US helped establish a new country for the Arabs.

This struggle between the two groups can best be described in the context of “the politics of the plague and the genocide.” The Arabs wanted to wipe out the Jews, which would have allowed them to expand their territory and gain economic leverage over the rest of Southern Africa. In addition, this struggle has led to the emergence of a variety of political parties that are based on race. This has created divisions within society among individuals who do not share the same views on ethnicity and religion. Moreover, the struggle between the two groups has caused a series of international conflicts in recent times (Berman 106). These conflicts have left behind many casualties and destroyed a lot of property. Therefore, this struggle shows how important it is to safeguard our national interests first before trying to pursue other agendas.

Apartheid and Freedom Charter

The racial division that occurred in the early 1900s affected every aspect of life within the country, including the judicial system. Since the vast majority of the population belonged to the Anglo-Catholic church, the blacks living in the South faced legal problems. Moreover, most politicians also criticized their church and denounced them as a bunch of racists (Baker 52). This caused a lot of tension between the two racial groups. Because of this tension, the black leaders decided to come together and drafted a document known as the Declaration of Human Rights and the Bill of Rights. The provisions in this document applied mainly to blacks and were aimed at bringing peace to the region. Moreover, this document provided a new foundation for the building of democratic institutions.

Notably, the “Right of Suffrage” provided the basis for the concept of “equal protection”. Moreover, this document helped guarantee freedom from discrimination in employment and education. However, this provision did not cover all facets of public policy or law. It only covered those aspects that dealt directly with discrimination and hate speech. Hence, this is what has come to define “equality”. Nevertheless, this is not enough, as one can observe from the current state of affairs. Besides, one cannot claim that there is true freedom in a place where the minority suffers from prejudice and discrimination. Hence, it becomes difficult to define “freedom” without fully understanding its meaning in the first place.

As pointed out earlier, there is no way that anyone can claim to be free from discrimination or any type of exploitation. Underlying this fact is the necessity of understanding the role of justice. Justice is what ensures equity and fairness. Therefore, it is essential to understand that neither is possible to obtain under a system where certain persons are given preferential treatment (Pierre and Charles 54). This brings up the issue of religion as well as discrimination. One can argue that certain religions are more responsible for oppressing others than for spreading love. Thus, we need to ensure that we understand our limitations when dealing with issues concerning human dignity and other human rights matters. Therefore, it is always important to acknowledge that no one deserves special treatment.


Despite all of these observations, the above discussion illustrates that the fight for equal rights has a long way to go. Some would argue that only those who are privileged actually enjoy full freedom. However, this is true in some respects, for one cannot ignore the fact that certain groups suffer more than others because of their skin color or ethnicity. Therefore, the idea of civil rights has become somewhat irrelevant in today’s modern world. Yet, while this notion continues to hold relevance for many activists around the globe, others continue to fight for social justice. Civil rights are very important since they allow us to build peaceful societies free from violence. As we move forward into the future, we must remember that our ancestors paved the way for what we now call civil rights. Hence, we owe it to ourselves to continue fighting for equity and equal opportunities for everyone.

Works Cited

Baker, Joseph. Human Rights, Politics and the Law. Routledge, 2011.

Banks, Gregory. Social Movements: The New Politics of Equality. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Berman, Neta. Making Human Rigts Work in African Courts. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Lunardi, Lisa J. Gender Equality, Individualism, and the Challenge of Domestic Violence. Rutgers University Press, 2010.