Participatory rights of women in poverty reduction processes

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Date
2007
Authors
Klaus, Karoline
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Abstract
Poverty and exclusion from decision-making processes are interconnected and mutually reinforcing, which becomes particularly apparent in connection with women. Women are the majority of the poor and the impact of poverty on their lives is more severe than on men’s lives, a phenomenon that has been described as “feminisation of poverty”. Equal participation of women in decision-making is a crucial factor in the fight against poverty. The subject of this paper is to determine whether international human rights law contains a right to participate in poverty reduction, generally and specifically with regard to women. These questions are approached from a legal point of view and the method used is a normative analysis of human rights treaties as well as non-binding instruments. The paper comes to the conclusion that there is a human right to participation in poverty reduction, both generally and of women, which varies from instrument to instrument, but covers a wide range of processes and entails extensive negative as well as positive state obligations. Women’s claims to be included in decision-making on development are thus supported by human rights law. Finally, the implementation of the right to participate in poverty reduction processes is assessed in the context of two African countries, namely Kenya and Mauritius.
Description
Second semester University: Abo Akademi University, Turku Finland
Keywords
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, poverty, Kenya, Mauritius, social participation, women, Africa
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