New publication! Pathway to Gender Equality from South Asia

New publication! Pathway to Gender Equality from South Asia

New publication! Pathway to Gender Equality: Perspectives on Women’s Property Rights from South Asia


Following the Workshop on Marriage and Property Rights: Pathways to Gender Equality in Africa and Asia jointly held by Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP), IGED-Africa, Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria, ESCR-NET and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, the partner co-hosting organizations published a brief reflecting on women’s equal property rights in South Asia. The new publication is based on based on the presentation made by Prof. Savitri Goonesekere during the workshop in which more than 30 representatives of women’s rights organizations at the African and Asian regions participated to discuss advocacy strategies to realize women’s property rights in the context of divorce, separation and annulment of marriage.

The brief analyses different strategies and means to advance women’s equal property rights considering that the region does not have a multilateral regional human rights system as Africa does. In this line, the brief sheds lights on the role that constitutions, legislation and Courts can play to bridge the gap in legal protection in a context where there are no ad-hoc mechanisms to develop regional human rights standards. The brief also highlights some of the main challenges that women face in South Asia to achieve structural and comprehensive reforms on equal property rights, including family relations, customary practices, and legal systems, as well as diverse courts and property rights regimes.

The publication further contributes to understand the challenges women face in guaranteeing equal property rights in different contexts and geographies and the key role that a regional legal reference tool, such as the General Comment No. 6 on the Maputo Protocol, can play to transform legal frameworks and, in turn, harness efforts to change practices at the ground level eliminating structural barriers to achieve substantive gender equality.

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