1887

Gender Equality and Human Rights

image of Gender Equality and Human Rights

There is a strong commitment to equality between women and men in international human rights law. The various actors within the treaty system who are tasked with elaborating on the meaning of human rights in international law have given close attention to gender equality. This work evaluates these elaborations against a conception of equality that is substantive. The achievement of substantive equality is understood here as having four dimensions: redressing disadvantage; countering stigma, prejudice, humiliation and violence; transforming social and institutional structures; and facilitating political participation and social inclusion. The publication suggests that there is a growing consensus at the international level on an understanding of substantive equality that reflects the four dimensions set out here. Making this understanding explicit will assist in addressing, through a range of means, the challenges of gendered inequality.

English

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Summary/Résumé/Resumen

There is a strong commitment to equality between women and men in international human rights law. The various actors within the treaty system who are tasked with elaborating on the meaning of human rights in international law have given close attention to gender equality. This paper evaluates these elaborations against a conception of equality that is substantive. The achievement of substantive equality is understood here as having four dimensions: redressing disadvantage; countering stigma, prejudice, humiliation and violence; transforming social and institutional structures; and facilitating political participation and social inclusion. The paper shows that, although not articulated in this way, these dimensions are clearly visible in the application by the various interpretive bodies of the principles of equality to the enjoyment of treaty rights. At the same time, it shows that there are important ways in which these bodies could go further, both in articulating the goals of substantive equality and in applying them when assessing compliance by States with international obligations of equality.

English

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