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From social welfare to human rights for girls – a path to achieving gender equality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 December 2014

Savitri Goonesekere*
Affiliation:
Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Email: savitriweg@gmail.com.

Abstract

Despite international and national human rights norms and standards, gender equality remains a goal in most countries. The recent discourse on substantive equality as a strategy for addressing the gender discrimination, disadvantage and deep-rooted social biases has reinforced the importance of working towards indivisible human rights for girls and women under CRC and CEDAW. This paper uses international and comparative national experiences on law and policy to argue that the failure to adopt an indivisibility of rights approach in relation to girl children has made it more difficult to achieve a norm of substantive equality for women. It is argued that the adoption of an intergenerational and rights-based, rather than a social welfare approach, is a necessary step to achieving substantive equality for women.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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