June 6 & 7, 2013 – “Interpreting and Advancing Women’s Right to Social Security and Social Protection”

“Interpreting and Advancing Women’s Right to Social Security and Social Protection” at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Onati, Spain.




The Human Rights Education and Research Centre co organised with the Australian Human Rights Centre of the University of New South Wales and Professor Beth Goldblatt a workshop at the Onati Centre. This workshop will son be followed by a book publication.

Picture: from left to right, 1st row: Prof. Lucie Lamarche (University of Ottawa Human Rights Centre); Prof. Janet Mosher (Osgoode Hall Law Faculty); Prof. Sandra Fredman (Rhodes Professor of Law, Oxford University); Camile Loftus (Ireland); 2nd row: Prof. Pablo Arellano Ortiz (Faculty of Law – Astral University of Chile, Valdivia); Prof. Felipe Gomez Isa (Deusto Human Rights Centre- Bilbao, Spain); Prof. Beth Goldblatt (Human Rights Centre of the University of New South Wales, Australia); Prof. Diane Otto (Melbourne Law School – Co-Director of its International Human Rights Law Program); Prof. Belinda Smith (Sidney Law School) ); Prof. Lucy Williams (Northeastern University School of Law

, USA); Prof. Hester Lessard ( University of Victoria Faculty of Law); Prof. Nurai Pumar Beltran (University of Barcelona Faculty of Law); Prof. Mankui Li ( SouthWest University of China). Missing: Lorena Ossio ( Max Planck Institute) and Mary Murphy (Irish Human Rights Commission).

The purpose of this workshop is to provide an interpretation of women’s rights to social security and protection within international human rights law that offers a sophisticated framework for testing social security law and policy. The framework should also look to improving and advancing the rights of women in future social protection measures. This paper provides some history and background to the somewhat neglected right to social security and protection and explores how a gender perspective on the right has evolved in recent years. It also hopes to provide a set of common terms and concepts that will allow all workshop participants to approach the discussion from a similar starting point. It describes three different but related approaches to the ‘gendering’ of the right within which authors might locate their analysis of themes and case studies. It should however be clear that nothing in this paper is definitive and we are hoping that the workshop will produce a range of interesting, critical and challenging ideas and perspectives that will take us forward in our understanding of this important human right.



Beth Goldblatt, Visiting Fellow at the Australian Human Rights Centre, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia; and an Honorary Senior Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Lucie Lamarche holds the Gordon F. Henderson Human Rights Chair and is Research Director of the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) in Ottawa, Canada

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