Women Rights – A Cornerstone of the Global Agenda for Development

Women rights are a cornerstone of the global agenda for development. This includes the right to work and earn a fair living, access to health care and education, freedom from sexual and gender-based violence, and the opportunity to own property.

Achieving these basic rights offers a great deal of economic, human, and social benefits to the individuals who have these rights, as well as for the societies in which they live. But the world continues to have a long way to go before women enjoy equality with men in every arena.

There are many ways that governments and other actors can help to make the world a more gender equal place. One of the most important is through promoting and enforcing laws that protect women’s rights.

The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all people have the right to be free from discrimination based on their gender. It sets out a number of key principles to guide states and other stakeholders in developing their legal systems.

This includes ensuring that all women have access to justice in domestic violence cases and in other instances of gender-based discrimination. It also calls for a prohibition on discrimination against women in employment, education, and access to public services.

These rights are protected in a number of international treaties and conventions, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. These treaties are essential in ensuring that women and girls enjoy the right to be free from all forms of discrimination.

They also include a series of measures to ensure that women have full participation in decision-making and have equal access to resources and power. In addition, they call for addressing the underlying causes of discrimination, such as gender stereotypes and misogynistic attitudes.

Gender-based violence is a worldwide problem, with 1 in 3 women experiencing violence at some point in their lives. It is often perpetrated by intimate partners and family members. It is a major source of economic inequality in countries and regions around the world, and it also impedes development in many countries.

Societal Structures and Traditions

Several parts of the world, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, continue to be characterised by patriarchal family structures that restrict women’s rights and opportunities. These include child marriage, female genital mutilation, and other practices that devalue women and limit their ability to pursue their interests.

This is a serious violation of the human rights of women and is considered by Amnesty International to be the ultimate form of gender discrimination. It robs girls of their ability to obtain education and economic opportunities, limits their ability to determine the number and spacing of their children, and places them at risk for death from pregnancy or childbirth.

The impact of these sexist practices can be devastating for a girl, her family, and the society she lives in. It is therefore important that governments work together with civil society organizations to promote and implement legal, policy and institutional solutions that address the root causes of this violence.