From sexual harassment allegations made against renowned film producer Harvey Weinstein, to announcements that Iceland has formally legalised equal pay, gender rights in the workplace has become a topic that has received the spotlight in recent times.
In countries that are more economically developed, both men and women in the workplace are continuously afflicted by key issues including the gender pay gap, paid parental leave, and workplace safety concerns. Whilst women working full-time in high and middle-income countries which make up the OECD are made to accept a median wage that is 85% that of men’s, research has also revealed that men who have reduced their working hours for family reasons stand to lose even more earnings than women who have reduced their working hours for similar reasons. However, the predicament in countries that are less economically developed is arguably more severe. Amongst other issues, the restriction of access to work opportunities and advancements continues to be a reality for many women due to invenerated cultural beliefs in nations such as Congo, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, which precludes them from earn incomes that are equivalent to those of males.
Thus, aside from identifying ways to ensure that a balance between profitability for corporations and the need protect workers’ wellbeing is brokered, delegates must consider how the differing needs of men and women living in nations of varying economic standing can be reconciled to create an international framework that addresses the spectrum of issues pertaining to gender rights in the workplace.
Despite progress that the world has made to improve the lives of women and girls, child marriages continue to persist as a global phenomenon, and shows no signs of being eliminated any time soon. Each year, over 15 million girls in regions including the Middle East, Latin America, South Asia and Europe are married off before they turn 18 years old, with most girls being forced into early marriage against their own will due to strong cultural and religious beliefs, such as the perception that marriage will provide ‘protection’ and family honour, and deep-rooted gender inequality in their respective communities.
While investments have been made by government agencies, civil society groups, and international organisations to reduce the number of child brides, these efforts have been largely ineffective, chiefly because of the immense challenge of altering mindsets and beliefs. As such, many young girls have been subjected to condemnable circumstances including domestic violence and mistreatment that pose threats to their health and wellbeing. Thus, delegates of the Human Rights Council must consider the best approach to take in procuring partnerships with civil society and communities where early marriages are most prevalent, whilst coordinating an international response to the issue of child marriages that would ensure transparency, accountability and effectiveness, such that young girls who have been stripped of fundamental human rights are vindicated.
Head Chair: Ashley
Co-chairs: Mitchell, Xinpei
Ashley is a Year 6 student in Raffles Institution’s Humanities Programme. Her first MUN conference was in 2016, and her desires to continue meeting new delegates whilst debating on pertinent issues that afflict regions all over the world have compelled her to stay in the circuit. Most recently, she won the Best Delegate award at NTUMUN 2018, and has also served as Head Chair of the SOCHUM committee at the Singapore International Relations Conference (SIRC) 2018. She will also be chairing for the SOCHUM committee at SMUN 2018. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys binge-watching Netflix and patronising food fairs to satisfy her epicurean tendencies. One day, she hopes to travel the world and go bungee-jumping, just for the thrill of it. You can contact her at email@example.com, should you have any further queries on council-related matters!
Mitchell is a Y5 student at RI, with a basic PCME combination. He started munning only last year, and has brought home 2 glorious VCs. What he feels is important however, are the friendships and bonds one can form in participating in MUNs. Living overseas in Shanghai and Hong Kong for the majority of his primary school life, he has no PSLE score and no O-levels score—His highest recognised academic achievement is his prized kindergarten certificate. He likes scrolling on Reddit, playing his Nintendo Switch, playing chess, and regularly keeps up on tech and product design. In school, he juggles the duties of Students’ Council, the willpower to stay awake during lectures and the burden of the PW group leader. He knows MUNs can be scary, but he also knows there is much to gain from it. He hopes delegates learn the nuances of this council, and hopefully form some close bonds that last way past council outings (if there even is one (please do have a council outing (you can invite chairs too))). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or advise!
Probably one of the few Geography students in History and Strategic Affairs Society (HSTA), Xinpei is an anomaly almost everywhere she goes. The Year 5 student in RI can be found listening to J-Pop songs while studying or in her free time (which is effectively almost never), and while watching anime used to be one of her hobbies, she sadly barely has time for it now. Xinpei entered the circuit in 2015 but only started taking it seriously last year. As much as she did not expect herself to stay, she found herself enjoying MUN, likely due to the friendships forged along the way, and RMUN, being Xinpei’s first MUN as a chair, is something she cannot wait to be a part of. Xinpei hopes that delegates are not feeling daunted by the idea of MUN, and also wishes to see delegates form fruitful bonds with one another even after council. Should you need any help in preparation for the conference, feel free to contact her at email@example.com.