L'Article 3 du Pacte International Relatif Aux Droits Économiques, Sociaux et Culturels (The UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Gender Equality Standard: Not There Yet)
20 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2012
Date Written: March 12, 2012
The gender equality standard provided for by the international law of human rights is still an unfinished business. This paper pays special attention to article 3 of the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). First, it explores how and why the gender equality standard guaranteed by the ICESCR has to be understood in a synergetic relation with other human rights treaties such as CEDAW or ICCPR. Secondly, the paper pays special attention to the internal relationship between article 2(1) and 3 of the ICESCR itself and asks if the Covenant provides for a sameness or difference standard in regard of gender relations. Finally, the authors argue that the interpretation of the equality standards as stated in the ICESCR has to take more seriously in account the substantive equality regime guaranteed by CEDAW and developed by the CEDAW Committee. Such a development would unveil the true meaning of women’s right to substantive equality in regard of their economic and social rights. The result is a mixture of acknowledging women’s specific needs as much as fighting stereotypes that serve as barriers to the enjoyment of all rights. But it is also about not encouraging the status quo in regard of public policies that really promote women’s rights. We believe that the ICESCR Committee has to keep on the good work in that regard.
Note: Downloadable document is in French.
Keywords: gender, equality, UN treaties, synergy
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