Intersections Between Women's Equality, Culture, and Cultural Rights

Partners for Law and Development
Publication Date: 
August, 2011

Report of the South Asia Plus Consultation on Culture, Women and Human Rights, September 2-3, 2010, Nepal

With culture being such a contested terrain, particularly as it relates to equality claims of women and minorities, the development of cultural rights offers new understandings on culture and cultural diversity that reinforce the indivisibility of cultural rights with other human rights. This report explores the intersections of the developing field of cultural rights in relation to advancement of women’s equality.

It draws upon the discussions between women’s rights activists from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, including independent experts from the UN human rights system: the Independent Expert on Cultural Rights, Special Rapporteur on VAW and three CEDAW committee members to set out the political terrain within which cultural discourses and cultural rights activism are located, their  relationship with democracy, the state and the women’s equality agenda; outlining as well as the human rights framework on the intersecting themes.

The report discusses discursive strategies that aim to transform culture to promote principles of equality and dignity, grounding these in local and national level activism in diverse contexts of South and Southeast Asia. Even as the report draws upon discussions of the consultation on Culture, Women and Human Rights (Dhulikhel, Nepal, September 2-3, 2010) covering South Asia and Southeast Asia regions, it is structured along key themes and debates on the subject for wider usage and relevance, beyond the limited purposes of a consultation documentation. 

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