Canadian Journal of Women and the Law

16 October 2002
October 16, 2002

Volume 14:1: Women and Poverty: The Challenge of Social and Economic Rights

Feminist activists and scholars consistently argued that equality rights guarantees would be of little value to women unless they were read as a source of substantive governmental obligation to address the real life circumstances of women’s lives. The latest volume of the CJWL, Volume 14:1, is devoted to the theme “Women and Poverty: The Challenge of Social and Economic Rights”. The collection of papers in this special volume builds upon the fundamental premise that the social and economic marginalization of women must be understood as an issue of basic human rights and not merely of social policy. The authors draw our attention to recent international and comparative law developments in the area of social and economic rights and their particular significance for women.

Several themes unite the contributions to this volume: the importance of a substantive rather than merely formal understanding of equality in developing social and economic rights norms; the indivisibility of different generations of human rights; the impropriety of giving civil and political rights priority over social and economic rights; the need for positive action by governments to further women’s equality, and the importance of effective judicial remedies for violations of women’s social and economic rights. Against the backdrop of these commonalities, the articles range from the international to the domestic front, from the interpretation of UN conventions and other international human rights instruments to their use in domestic contexts such as housing, social assistance, and budget policy. Domestic policy issues in Canada (including the issues arising in Gosselin v. Québec), Nigeria, and Mexico receive attention. The contributors to this special issue include Dianne Otto, Lucie Lamarche, Leilani Farha, Reem Bahdi, Helena Hofbauer, Joy Ngwakwe, and Gwen Brodsky and Shelagh Day.

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about NAWL
The National Association of Women and the Law is a not-for-profit feminist organization that promotes the equality rights of women through legal education, research and law reform advocacy.
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