Claiming Women's Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Women's lives are impacted by a myriad of issues such as the frequent lack of basic services, de jure inequality, lack of accountability of States, corporations and other global actors, discriminatory cultural stereotypes, beliefs and the impact of harmful practices, religious fundamentalisms and development agendas which exclude consideration of the rights and experiences of women and differences among women. Within this context, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) are the two
key human rights instruments which provide a forum for demanding realization of women's human rights.
International Women's Rights Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific and International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) have been consistently promoting a holistic approach to realization of women's human rights, through mobilization and capacity building of civil society, women's rights organizations and NGOs advocating on economic, social and cultural rights. We have also sustained engagement with the Committees monitoring State Parties fulfillment of obligations under CEDAW and ICESCR to ensure that national level realities of women's economic, social and cultural rights are effectively raised internationally. With the adoption of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and Optional Protocol to ICESCR, the role of activists and lawyers in using litigation to advance women's economic, social and cultural rights becomes key to changing the situation on the ground for women claiming their rights nationally, regionally and internationally as they offer important additional opportunities to