Constitutional approaches to gender and social and economic rights

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Constitutions and Gender: Research Handbooks in Comparative Constitutional Law Series, 2017, pp. 482 - 500
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© The Editor and Contributors Severally 2017. All rights reserved. The chapter examines the origins, nature and prevalence of social and economic rights. It explores the arguments for understanding social and economic rights in gender terms and considers different approaches to this understanding. The chapter discusses and develops a typology of different constitutional and jurisprudential approaches to social and economic rights as they relate to gender issues. It considers both justiciable and aspirational social and economic rights. It also examines other constitutional rights such as the right to equality and the right to life that have been used to claim women’s social and economic rights, as well as specific women’s rights included in some constitutions, that require states to meet the social and economic rights of women. Lastly it notes the incorporation of international law dealing with women’s social and economic rights via some domestic constitutional provisions. The conclusion, in acknowledging that some constitutions provide limited social and economic rights for women, points to alternative and complementary strategies to address these gaps. It also suggests new challenges for scholarship and other engagement in the area of women’s social and economic rights.
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