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  • Why Addressing Gender Is Foundational

    Jody Heymann, Aleta Sprague, Amy Raub

    Chapter from the book: Heymann, J et al. 2020. Advancing Equality: How Constitutional Rights Can Make a Difference Worldwide.


    Throughout much of recorded history, women have been banned from voting, holding office, owning property, and performing many jobs. Over the past 50 years, women’s rights movements have succeeded in dismantling many discriminatory laws— yet significant inequality remains in the workplace, politics, and within families. This chapter examines whether the world’s constitutions guarantee women’s equal rights in all spheres. In addition, this chapter assesses whether constitutions address discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, marital, or family status, and examines the evidence for whether these specific protections matter. Finally, this chapter evaluates whether constitutions explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of both sex and gender, and explores why doing so is critical to dismantling restrictive gender norms that limit opportunities for all people.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Heymann, J et al. 2020. Why Addressing Gender Is Foundational. In: Heymann, J et al, Advancing Equality. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.81.d

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    Published on Jan. 14, 2020