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Publisher: Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London
Languages: English
Types: Part of book or chapter of book
Subjects: HRDS
International human rights declarations, conventions and protocols such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), are universally recognised as constituting the basis for demanding and achieving gender equality. They ‘set a vision of a world where there is justice’ (Cornwall 2015) and today it is widely acknowledged that the normative approach to development should be rights based, even if it’s not the norm in practice. This discord is particularly evident in the women’s rights development discourse. Securing women’s empowerment has increasingly been dominating the international development agenda, but many consider the model being disseminated as de-radicalised, removed from its feminist activist roots and pursuing an apolitical ideology (Cornwall and Molyneux 2006). This in turn promotes and supports a very narrow definition of empowerment; one that does not seek wholesale substantive and transformative change for women and society, but seems to be content to work within and even embrace the existing socio-economic framework.
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    • Batliwala, S. (1994) 'The meaning of women's empowerment: new concepts from action', in G. Sen, A. Germain and L. C. Chen (eds.), Population Policies Reconsidered: Health, Empowerment and Rights (Cambridge: Harvard University Press).
    • Cornwall, A. and M. Molyneux (2006) 'The politics of rights: dilemmas for feminist praxis', Third World Quarterly 27 (7), pp. 1175-91.
    • Cornwall, A. (2007) 'Pathways of women's empowerment', in 50.50 Inclusive Democracy (30 July 2007), available at https://www.opendemocracy.net/ article/pathways_of_womens_empowerment (accessed 10 Sept. 2015).
    • - (2015) 'Why gender equality by numbers will never measure up', The Guardian (26 March 2015), available at http://www.theguardian.com/ global-development/2015/mar/26/why-gender-equality-by-numbersnever-measure-up-mdg3-stereotypes (accessed 10 Sept. 2015).
    • Fulu, E., A. Kerr-Wilson and J. Lang (2014) 'What works to prevent violence against women and girls? Evidence review of interventions to prevent violence against women and girls', in DFID Violence against women and girls guidance notes (30 July 2014), available at https://www.gov.uk/ government/publications/what-works-in-preventing-violence-againstwomen-and-girls-review-of-the-evidence-from-the-programme (accessed 10 Sept. 2015).
    • Htun, M. and L. Weldon (2012) 'The civic origins of progressive policy change: combating violence against women in global perspective, 1975- 2005', American Political Science Review 106 (3), pp. 548-69.
    • Kabeer, N. (2005) 'Gender equality and women's empowerment: a critical analysis of the third millennium development goal 1', Gender & Development 13 (1), pp. 13-24.
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