Handbook of Family Policy
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Handbook of Family Policy

Edited by Guðný B. Eydal and Tine Rostgaard

The Handbook of Family Policy examines how state and workplace policies support parents and their children in developing, earning and caring. With original contributions from 44 leading scholars, this Handbook provides readers with up-to-date knowledge on family policies and family policy research, taking stock of current literature as well as providing analyses of present-day policies, and where they should head in the future.
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Chapter 28: Women’s voices and human rights: perspectives on sustainable family lives

Ulla Björnberg


The chapter by Björnberg addresses women’s rights within family contexts using a global perspective. It is important to illuminate discriminating practices on women just because they are women and which prevent them from using their capabilities. The aim of the chapter is to argue for a feminist family policy. The author presents some perspectives on conditions for family life against a background of changing living conditions for women, migration and different family forms. Examples of these are changing ways of subsistence for women in a global economy, migration and social mobility. Economic conditions, cultural norms and values are challenges to the ways in which women can build and sustain the needs of family members and of themselves. Björnberg’s perspective on the conditions of women’s reproductive work is inspired by the capability approach developed by Nussbaum and Sen, since it sheds light on the obstacles that women confront, based on structures, institutions and culture. The author draws on evaluation reports from the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and other reports from the United Nations and the World Bank as well as analysis of case studies in the CEDAW on how conventions on woman’s human rights are implemented in national law.

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