Browse by title
Gary Jacobsohn and Miguel Schor
This chapter will examine a range of different constitutional settings and consider the various methods for incorporating gender equality rights, using international human rights law as the legal and normative framework for evaluating different methods of constitutional design. However, in recognizing the existence of limitations within the international legal framework for protecting human rights in domestic legal systems, the chapter will also explore one of the major gaps in international human rights law that particularly affects women – the absence of any formal recognition of the vulnerability of women against the realities of a global ageing population.
This chapter will illustrate how a democracy support organization – the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) – that seeks to be a bridge between research and practice, has approached the development of a tool to empower gender equality advocates in the constitution building process. Section 7.2 looks at challenges to effective engagement in constitution building. Section 7.3 talks about developing the assessment, with the following sections looking at the assessment design (section 7.4), questions and issues about the assessment (section 7.5) and implementing the assessment (section 7.6). Then sections 7.7 and 7.8 look at constitution building, in Nepal and Myanmar respectively.
This chapter aims to provide initial answers to the basic question of whether and how participation in constitution-making delivers for women. The chapter proceeds by first outlining the contours of the debate surrounding popular participation in constitution-making, identifying the benefits and potential pitfalls such participation may yield. The chapter then looks at three instances of popular involvement in constitutional change: the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the 2012-14 Irish Constitutional Convention and the 2011-14 Tunisian constitution-making experience, analysing the level and nature of women’s participation in all these processes. Subsequently, the chapter evaluates the successes and failures of participatory mechanisms such as referendums, constitutional conventions and public consultations in empowering women as equal participants, and their ability to ensure gender-sensitive deliberations. The chapter also raises questions as to whether participation is to be resorted to in all cases of constitutional reform and the propensity for it to be an obstacle to, rather than a vehicle for, gender equality.