Gender and Human Rights in the Commonwealth

Some Critical Issues for Action in the Decade 2005–2015

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The purpose of this book is to contribute to current policymaking, programme planning and implementation on gender and human rights. It is intended for a wide audience of policymakers, magistrates, judges and lawyers, academics and civil society organisations grappling with these issues. It is also intended as a conceptual and policyoriented resource for those committed to implementing and supporting the Human Rights Goals of the new Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality 20052015.

The papers address a wide range of gender and human rights issues, including the convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), genderbased violence, culture and the law, indigenous peoples, trafficking and migration, land and property rights, diversity and a life cycle approach to gender and human rights. This book brings together the papers commissioned for a PanCommonwealth Expert Group Meeting on Gender and Human Rights which took place at the Commonwealth Secretariat, London February 2004. These papers, together with other key background papers, represent much of the analysis and experience from Commonwealth member countries that informed the development of the Human Rights section of the new Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality 20052015.



Gender and Land Rights

Land is a useful natural and economic resource, which is central to sustainable livelihoods for both urban and rural populations. Land, property, housing and inheritance rights are inextricably linked (Kothari, 2003:11). Many times a discussion on any of these issues brings forth a focus on another. It is essential that the Commonwealth Secretariat pays attention to land and property rights at this critical time as countries prepare the next ten-year plans of action for women. This paper provides a conceptual framework for looking at the issue and then focuses o n the reality of women's rights to land, property and housing. It then examines some of the standards and norms on land, property and housing at the international and regional level before looking at how these translate to the national level i n terms of constitutional guarantees and legal frameworks. It then looks briefly at the work of N G O s i n the area.


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