Social and economic rights to challenge violence against women – examining and extending strategies

Publication Type:
Journal Article
South African Journal on Human Rights, 2019, 35 (2), pp. 169 - 193
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© 2019 South African Journal on Human Rights. Violence against women and poverty are closely connected. Measures to address this violence must tackle the social and economic factors that contribute to gender inequality. Violence against women is now recognised as a human rights violation but this is often understood narrowly in relation to violations of civil and political rights. Social and economic rights offer rich possibilities to look beyond punitive responses to violence to more preventative measures that take account of systemic inequalities. This article examines some of the reasons why these rights have not been sufficiently developed and engaged. Drawing on the views and activities of South African public interest lawyers, researchers and activists working on violence against women as well as those involved with work on gendered poverty and service delivery, it suggests how social and economic rights might be further developed and applied in challenging this violence.
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