Human Rights

Human Rights

“Women’s rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy.” - Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice and Founder of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project

An alarming number of women in the United States experience grievous violence, and our government has failed to respond effectively to this crisis. The statistics speak for themselves: domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to U.S. women between the ages of 15 and 44; an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year; and 1 in 4 American women are abused by their partners. Domestic violence is a human rights violation, and the ACLU is working to ensure that government and institutions are held accountable for preventing and responding to violence in accordance with civil rights and human rights standards. 

The Women’s Rights Project integrates a human rights framework into our litigation and advocacy in order to hold the United States accountable for its affirmative obligations to honor and protect human dignity for all, and to shape international law to address meaningfully the lived experience of the most vulnerable women in our country. 

Additional Resources

U.N. Expert on Violence Against Women Says U.S. Victims Still Encounter Discrimination and Adversity (2011 press release): In June 2011, 1 report delivered by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women finds that U.S. policies concerning domestic violence, sexual assault in the military and treatment of women in detention fall far short of adequately protecting victims. The American Civil Liberties Union joined other organizations in meeting with the Special Rapporteur, Rashida Manjoo, on her fact-finding mission to the U.S. earlier this year.

Case Profile - Sabbithi, et al. v. Al Saleh, et al. (2011 resource): The ACLU is representing Kumari Sabbithi, Joaquina Quadros and Tina Fernandes, three Indian women who were employed as domestic workers by Major Waleed Al Saleh and his wife Maysaa Al Omar of McLean, Virginia. In the summer of 2005, the three women were brought to the United States under false pretenses, where they were subjected to physical and psychological abuse by the Al Saleh family and forced to work against their will. In the winter of that year, fearing for their lives, each of the women individually fled the household.

Human Trafficking Victims Take Significant Steps Toward Bringing Kuwaiti Diplomats to Justice (2010 blog)

Watch It: CEDAW Hearing Today at 2 p.m. (2010 blog)

Senate Will Hear Testimony Today On Landmark Treaty Affirming Women’s Fundamental Human Rights (2010 press release)

Ratify CEDAW, Because Women's Rights are Human Rights (2010 blog)


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