Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Political Science (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Maureen Stobb and Dr. Kate Perry


How does official criticism from the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) affect the level of government respect for women’s rights in a state? International governmental organizations (IGOs), such as the Universal Periodic Review, play an important role in the overall global community. Although there is some evidence that IGOs can improve respect for human rights in a state, scholars do not yet know the impact on women’s rights specifically, especially when it comes to naming and shaming. I investigate this relationship, theorizing that the UPR will positively impact women’s rights, but this effect will be contingent on the level of terrorist activity in a state. I focus specifically on women’s rights through discrimination against women, women’s access to education, and violence against women. I argue that the strong presence of terrorist groups will wash out the impact of the UPR’s naming and shaming. I substantiate my argument with a case study in the Middle East, Iraq, with a high level of terrorist activity. My findings indicate that terrorist attacks do not seem to undermine the state responses to women’s rights, rejecting my hypothesis.