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“All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Issue No: 181
March 13, 2005

This week's issue:
Human Rights Analysis
Star Law Analysis
Law Alter Views
Star Law History
Human Rights Advocacy
Rights Column
Human Rights Monitor
Fact File
Law Event

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Women's Day Special

Rights column

Rights-based approaches

Gender dimension on development

Rights-based approaches to development emphasize non-discrimination, attention to vulnerability and empowerment. Women and girls are among the first victims of discrimination. They are the most vulnerable and the least empowered in many societies.

To protect women's rights, the international community has created specific standards. In 1979, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

The Convention, which entered into force on 3 September 1981, establishes women's right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex and affirms equality in international law. It is monitored by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Recent world conferences, including Vienna (1993), Cairo (1994) and Beijing (1995), have confirmed the strong link between the gendered nature of violations of human rights and the advancement of women's rights.

The 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action affirmed the human rights of women as an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of human rights and demanded that the equal status and human rights of women be integrated into the mainstream of United Nations system-wide activity.

Gender mainstreaming has been defined by the United Nations as the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies and programmes, in any area and at all levels (ECOSOC Agreed Conclusions 1997/2).

In 1998, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted resolution 1998/11 on mainstreaming a gender perspective into the policies and programmes of the United Nations system, and decided to pay particular attention to what has been called the "feminization" of poverty, its causes and remedies. The Organization has now committed itself to integrating a gender perspective into all areas of United Nations work, including development.

In resolution 2000/5 the Commission on Human Rights affirmed the need to apply a gender perspective in the implementation of the right to development, inter alia by ensuring that women play an active role in the development process. It emphasized that the empowerment of women and their full participation on the basis of equality in all spheres of society is fundamental for society.

At its fifty-fifth session, the Commission requested all human rights treaty bodies, special procedures and the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to adopt a systematic gender perspective when implementing their mandates (E/CN.4/RES/1999/41).

In accordance with this resolution, OHCHR is endeavouring to mainstream gender issues both within and outside the Office. Gender concerns will be reflected in the conceptualization, implementation and evaluation of human rights policies, strategic planning, and the setting of priorities and objectives.

Source: UNOHCHR.



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