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Women's rights are human rights -- why development has failed women.

Published Article
Links : a newsletter on gender for Oxfam GB staff and partners
Publication Date
August 1995
PMID: 12319860


Oxfam UK/I believes that all women have the right to a livelihood, reproductive choice, health care, education, and employment. Access to resources, decision-making, political and religious freedom of expression, and freedom from all forms of violence are also equally important. Oxfam UK/I recognizes that women worldwide from a diversity of cultures and religions are arguing for similar rights, but continuing efforts to create women's equality and empowerment have had only limited success. There has been no significant improvement in women's lifestyles, the feminization of poverty is increasing, growing religious fundamentalism threatens advances made toward equality, and there has been an increasing violation of women's individual human rights to development in the last decade. Human rights instruments to tackle gender inequality exist, but they are not implemented. The rights approach to development recognizes that unless inequalities at local, national, and international levels are seen and challenged, women will continue to face poverty, inadequate representation of their needs and views, and policies which are contrary to their interests. The rights approach encompasses all aspects of women's lives, recognizing that women's rights in the civil, political, social, economic, and cultural spheres are indivisible from one another in the realities of daily life. Oxfam UK/I acknowledges the complexity of the rights debate.

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