Summary and Info
Since the late 1990s rights-based approaches (RBAs) in development have been advanced by the major institutional development actors such as the UN, multilateral and bilateral agencies, and international NGOs. A number of critiques of RBAs have emerged that question whether the emancipatory potential of rights discourse and practice will be realized within development. These critiques, however, have not sufficiently questioned the implication of rights discourse and practice for advancing a gender equality agenda and women’s autonomy. This is an area that needs considerable research, and this publication explores some of the key issues at stake. The publication, based on contributions from different regions of the world, sheds light on the problematic of delivering on rights in a way that treats and sees women as entities in themselves and worthy of rights, and not simply in relation to a man and as subordinate within gender relations. The authors remind us that in order to practice rights, we need on the one hand to side with, promote and learn from the awareness of those deprived of rights, because it is their agency that will fuel and drive the struggle for rights. On the other hand, rights-based practice requires a politically engaged research, activist and development community in order to promote gender equality.
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