Gender Equality as a Human Right

Gender Equality as a Human Right 2

GenderEquality as a Human Right

Genderequality preconditions development advancement and poverty reduction.Despite this, this concept remains elusive globally. Women and menshould be free to enjoy opportunities with dignity devoid of fear.However, gender inequality continues to influence women the mostbecause it affects their access to social and economic resources, aswell as, decision-making. With this, women empowerment has become animportant factor in the promotion of gender equality. The empowermentprocess emphasizes on the identification and redressing of powerdisparity providing women with the autonomy needed to manage theirindividual lives. In this essay, I focus on discussing genderequality as a human right related to women empowerment throughprimary concerns associated with reproductive health, economic,political, and education empowerment.

Theaddress of women empowerment and gender equality points out strategicinterventions required at every level of policy-making and programing(Sorj, 2016: 105). They include reproductive health, economicempowerment, political empowerment, and education empowerment.Firstly, through reproductive health, it is critical for women tocontrol their individual fertility towards equality attainment.Through the planning of their families, women will manage to plantheir lives by promoting and protecting their reproductive rights.With this, they will manage to participate freely and equally in thesociety. Further, women happen to experience more vulnerability toboth social and physiological reproductive health concerns comparedto men. According to Sorj (2016: 105), childbirth and pregnancycomplications account for a high percentage of deaths amongreproductive aged women. Therefore, the failure to offer information,conditions, and services that assist women in the protection of theirreproductive health leads to gender-based inequity. It also violatesthe rights of women associated with life and health.

Secondly,Cho (2014: 720) notes that six women out of ten constitute theworld’s poorest individuals. The economic inequalities continue toexist partially because women in most societies associate with unpaidwork found within their communities and families. Additionally,discrimination within the economic sphere is popular towards womensince men hold big positions in companies that are better paying.Thirdly, gender equality will not undergo achievement without theenforcement and backing of institutions that result from politicalempowerment. Arat (2015: 674) claims the global governments and otherlegal and social institutions have attempted to intervene on theissue but have failed to secure women equality related to basic humanand legal rights, in political or social participation, and inearning and employment. It is evident that men remain the preferredoccupants of most authoritative positions in the legal and politicalarenas with only 22% of women parliamentarians globally (Cho, 2014:722). Lastly, approximately two out of three women around the worldare illiterate (Cho, 2014: 724). Education deprivation restrictswomen from accessing opportunities and information related to theirrights. On the other hand, education empowerment among women benefitsthe communities ensuring that there is low fertility and infantmortality, along with better consequences for children.

Insummary, it is evident that the issue of gender equality is a growingconcern worldwide especially relating to the discrimination of womenand their rights in multiple fields. However, with the properevaluation of the issue through focusing on the main strategicinterventions, it is possible for gender equality to experienceattainment upholding the rights of not only women but also men.


Arat,ZK 2015, ‘Feminisms, Women’s Rights, and the UN: Would AchievingGender Equality Empower Women?’, AmericanPolitical Science Review,109, 4, p. 674

Cho,S 2014, ‘International Women’s Convention, Democracy, and GenderEquality’, SocialScience Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell),95, 3, pp. 719-739

Sorj,B 2016, ‘Connecting Economic and Social Policy: new approaches togender equality’, GlobalSocial Policy,16, 1, p. 105

Gender Equality as a Human Right 3


In the recent times, gender equality is among the hottest issuesbeing discussed in the global arena. In most developed and developingcountries, women have been seen at the forefront fighting for theirrights, which includes political scenes. Gender equality is also atthe centre of human rights as well as the values of the UnitedNations (UN), an international body that focuses on various issuesaffecting the world (Fredman and Goldblatt 2015). In 1945, the UNcharter espoused “equal rights of women and men” as a basicprinciple. It also safeguards and promotes human rights for women,which it sees as an obligation of all countries.

Nevertheless, in the midst of all debates, the issue on whethergender equality is a human right as been at the front position.Similar to men, women have a right to living with dignity as well asliberty without apprehension. Advocates for gender equality haveargued that it is a prerequisite for enhancing development as well asmitigating poverty (Fredman and Goldblatt 2015). When women areempowered, they work towards promoting the health, not only of theirfamilies, but for the communities at large. In addition, they alsoenhance the outlook of the future generations. In general, they helpto address the globe’s most urgent issues.

However, it is worth noting that in spite of its fulfilling promise,gender equality as a human right is not wholly addressed. Numerouswomen the globe over still experience various kinds ofdiscrimination. For instance, gender based violence that affectsapproximately 30 per cent of women across the world (UNHRC 2016).Some countries have policies and regulations which bars women fromhaving equal access to property, especially land. In others, cultureand religion render women susceptible to domestic violence,trafficking, besides being socially and economically discriminated.Other than gender, such factors as disability, age, socio andeconomic standing as well as ethnicity render women vulnerable. Insome cultures, for instance, women duties are at home, to take careof their families. However, the changing times, human rightsdefenders, expert bodies and treaties are playing a major role inbreaking such traditions, and advocating for more women in leadershiproles, security as well as peace ambassadors.

In order to guarantee women human rights in an effective way, it isvital to comprehend the power relations and socio-economic structureswhich define a range of factors including politics, regulations,family and social dynamics as well as community dynamics as a whole(Fredman and Goldblatt 2015). The bottom line is breakingdetrimental gender stereotypes and understanding women are just likemen.

Nearly all human rights treaties bardiscrimination on the basis of sex. Some of them include theInternational Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rightsand the International Covenant on Civil andPolitical Rights (UNHRC 2016). Some countries such as Canada, whichis the global leader in promoting and protecting gender equality isdedicated to the observation that the aforementioned is a humanrights concern and critical towads the realization of sustainabledevelopment, peace, and social justice (Global Affairs Canada 2016).The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) recognizes for equalparticipation of women in decision making in order to attain suchobjectives.

Reference List

Fredman .S and Goldblatt B., 2015, Gender equality and humanrights. Discussion paper, . Accessed through[]

Global Affairs Canada, 2016, Canada’s commitment to genderequality and the advancement of women’s rights internationally.Accessed throughinternational.gc.cah[ttp://]

United Nations Human Rights office of the High Commission 2016,Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equality. Accessed website[]