Examining the human rights of women living in poverty

31 March 2014

201403Gender Poverty

A major global conference is set to shine a spotlight on the human rights violations suffered by women living in poverty.

'Women and Poverty: A Human Rights Perspective' will take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 28-30 April 2014, and has been organised by the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations and the Oxford Human Rights Hub.

While the feminisation of poverty has long been a recognised phenomenon, gender inequality and poverty are often treated as two separate problems. Poverty is often addressed from a gender-neutral standpoint rather than a comprehensive, integrated and holistic gendered perspective. This fails to capture the many inter-locking human rights violations experienced by impoverished women. The invisibility is compounded by the misconception that economic prosperity or an increase in human development corresponds to an increase in gender equality and empowerment.

The conference will bring together, and foster, a network of people across various disciplines working in poverty, gender equality and human rights. The organisers hope to explore current developments, analyse existing weaknesses and will attempt to point towards future improvements in the ways in which human rights frameworks can address the problems of women's poverty, and say the time is ripe to bring this issue into focus with the post-2015 development goals prominent on the international and national agenda.

The conference is being hosted in partnership with Professor Evance Kalula, of the University of Cape Town, and Dr Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, Judge of the East Africa Court of Justice and Dean of the Law School at the University of Rwanda, and with the support of the Chief Justice Sam Rugege, Chief Justice of Rwanda.