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Cover International Human Rights Law

16. Women’s Rights  

Dianne Otto

This chapter examines women’s rights and new developments related to gender identity. It describes the treatment of women in international law prior to the adoption of the UN Charter, in order to highlight the significance of the subsequent shift to the promotion of women’s equality. It examines the non-discrimination approach favoured by the drafters of the founding human rights instruments, highlighting the importance of the approach as well as some of its limitations. The chapter goes on to examine the innovative approach taken in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which promoted a strong version of women’s substantive equality. The strategy of ‘gender mainstreaming’, adopted in the 1990s, sought to reinterpret mainstream human rights to be inclusive of women’s experiences. The chapter concludes by highlighting some continuing obstacles presented by the law itself, which prevent women and other gender identities from successfully claiming and enjoying human rights.

Chapter

Cover International Human Rights Law

12. Rights for specific vulnerable persons  

Following on from the previous chapter on equality and non-discrimination, this chapter examines the additional systems of human rights protection in place for specific groups of people who are often disadvantaged and marginalized in societies. Six specific groups are considered: women, children, elderly, internally displaced persons, stateless persons, and refugees. It first explains why group rights evolved in a system of human rights that, from the outset, was supposed to be universal, and then discusses the particular needs of these groups, the evolving international and regional human rights framework, and the extent to which the legal framework addresses the needs of the group in question.

Chapter

Cover International Human Rights Law

10. Adequate Standard of Living  

Asbjørn Eide and Wenche Barth Eide

This chapter examines the right to an adequate standard of living and its components, namely, the rights to food, housing, and health. The chapter analyses the meaning and key features of the right to an adequate standard of living and examines the normative content of that right and its components, namely, the rights to food, housing, and health. The chapter then explores the difficulties and special obligations in ensuring the right to an adequate standard of living for particular groups of people, addresses the relationship between the right to an adequate standard of living and other human rights, examines the question of progressive implementation of the right, and, finally, addresses the justiciability of the right to an adequate standard of living and the need for international action in its implementation.