Group info

Women's human rights

Page created by
Valentina Pomatto1 December 2010

1. Description

Human rights are regarded as an integral element of all EU external action and dialogue with third countries. Adopting a rights-based approach to development means that individuals have equal rights – not just needs – to participate in and benefit from the development process.

Gender equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex are fundamental human rights, recognised by a number of international legal instruments and declarations and enshrined in most national constitutions. Most human rights instruments are ‘gender-neutral’ in that they guarantee that all citizens will be treated without discrimination by the State, but that guarantee alone is insufficient to address inequalities which already exist.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) moves beyond statements guaranteeing equality and sets out measures aimed at achieving substantive equality in all fields and across all sectors. CEDAW thus provides a universal framework for rights-based development.

2. Practical example of implementation

Promoting land and women rights in Red Sea State, Eastern Sudan

3. EU Policy documents on this issue

Briefing Note on Women's Human Rights

The Communication from the Commission to the Council and to the European Parliament on the European Union’s Role in  promoting human rights and democratization in third countries COM (2001) 252 final

4. Articles

Gender Equality reports examine situation of women in southern Mediterranean (October 2010)


UN Women Constitution Database: a new (2013) useful mapping tool showing gender provisions in constitutional texts around the world.

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