Gender Violence: A Development and Human Rights Issue


Bunch, Charlotte, and Roxanna Carrillo. 1991. Gender Violence: A Development and Human Rights Issue. New Brunswick, NJ: Center for Women's Global Leadership.

Authors: Charlotte Bunch, Roxanna Carrillo


This document includes two articles describing the failure of the international human rights movement to consider or remedy the situation of women outside of the basic demand for political rights of people in general. The first article, "Women's Rights as Human Rights: Toward a Re-Vision of Human Rights" (Charlotte Bunch), emphasizes the responsibility of governments and patriarchy for the perpetuation of violence against women. Little is done to remedy domestic violence, and in many countries females are routinely denied education, health care, and proper nutrition, with the result that they are unable to escape from the subjugated position that is traditional to the culture. The article explores the importance and difficulty of connecting women's rights to human rights. Four basic approaches that have been used to make the connection are: (1) women's rights as political and civil rights, (2) women's rights as socio-economic rights, (3) women's rights and the law, and (4) a feminist transformation of human rights. The second article, "Violence Against Women: An Obstacle to Development" (Roxanna Carrillo), specifically looks at strategies for combating violence against women as related to development planning. At multiple program levels, an awareness of cultural specific forms of gender violence can help identify and overcome obstacles impeding women's participation. Such programs must recognize that change can be threatening and can result in more violence. Women must be trained in communication skills, awareness of possible actions, management skills, and self defense. On a very direct level, projects can test one or more education campaigns and seek to make violence unacceptable within a society.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Humanitarian Assistance, Context-Appropriate Response to Trauma, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 1992

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