New British Academy report on human rights, the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and furthering gender equality

13 Nov 2018

The British Academy has launched a major new report exploring how human rights and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals can work together to further gender equality. 

Working Together: Human Rights, the Sustainable Development Goals and Gender Equality, by Professor Sandra Fredman FBA QC (hon), argues that it is crucial for human rights and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals to work together to achieve transformative gender equality and to ensure that the ambitious promises of the SDGs are not simply fleeting hopes. This depends on sustained civil society action to hold governments to account both for their promises under the SDGs and under the human rights structure, mobilising all relevant forums both internationally and domestically. 

Professor Ash Amin CBE FBA, Foreign Secretary and Vice-President of the British Academy, said: "This report is an important contribution to how to achieve substantive gender equality in the context of sustainable development. It highlights the importance of developing meaningful synergies between existing human rights frameworks and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, and illustrates this through two particularly pressing issues – sexual and reproductive health rights and gender-based poverty. The report questions the way in which gender equality is currently woven into policy, and makes the case for a new approach."

The report was launched with an international symposium at the British Academy on 12 November 2018, with a keynote speech from Alia El Yassir, Regional Director of UN Women. This publication is part of a multi-year programme of activities on Justice, Rights and Equality, which seeks to develop new understanding within research, policy and practitioner communities of the tensions between global norms and local attempts to realise justice, rights and equality, especially in the context of an unstable and rapidly changing global order.

Professor Sandra Fredman is Rhodes Professor of the Laws of the British Commonwealth and the USA at Oxford University, and is Director of the Oxford Human Rights Hub. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2005 and became a QC (honoris causa) in 2012. 

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