Consolidating exercises: Do women have nothing more to strive for?



Aim: The group work will show that gender roles are constantly developing and changing and make the students understand that working to promote women’s rights is still relevant and important. 

The table below should be copied prior to the exercise. A printed version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for each participant is needed.  


  1. The students will be divided into groups of three to four participants. The task is to fill in the table and to rank how the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights apply to women from ancient times to contemporary times. The students should rank from level 1 to 5. This exercise will take approximately 40 minutes. (An alternative way of doing this is to let each group concentrate on one or two articles. Then the groups can present to the others afterwards. An alternative can also be to use articles from the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.) 

    The article:

1 – does not apply to women at all: worldwide/or in your country
2 – applies to only a few women: worldwide/or in your country
3 – applies to women partly: in half the world/or in your country
4 – applies to almost all women: in most parts of the world/or in your country
5 – applies to all women: worldwide/or in your country


 Universal Declaration of Human Rights  №. of articles Ancient times Middle centuries Eighteenth century Nineteenth century Today
    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person  Art. 3        
    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment   Art. 5          
    All are equal before the law and are entitled without discrimination to equal protection before the law. (…) Art. 7          
    Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the boarder of each State Art. 13.1          
    Men and woman of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution Art. 16.1          
    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance  Art. 18          
    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers Art. 19          

    Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through chosen representatives (…) (voting rights)

Art. 21          
    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours (…)   Art. 24          
    Everyone has the right to education. (…) Art. 26.1          


      2.  The teacher reads out the articles and each group states the ranking of each article through the time periods. Now is the time for analysing the changes. What do students think about how the situation has changed? The students might support their opinion with concrete examples. What are the positive/negative dynamics at work? Why do situations differ in comparison to men? What about today’s situation? Why don’t all countries accept women’s rights to free choice in marriage, to vote and so on?




Tamara Gromova, Phd. School of Journalism and Mass Communications, St.Petersburg State University (Russia)

An online manual on intercultural understanding, ethics and human rights to be used by teachers and students in journalism education. Read more.

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