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V. TOWARD THE REALIZATION OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS: LEGAL REFORM AND IMPLEMENTATION


5.1. Summary of the main findings

This study has analysed the agriculture-related rights of rural women, focusing on three key issues: rights to land and other natural resources, including property, family and succession law on the one hand and agrarian law on the other; rights of women agricultural workers, mainly regulated by labour law; and rights concerning agricultural self employment activities, with regard both to the status of women entrepreneurs and to their access to services. The analysis has focused on the legal systems of ten countries, while providing relevant information on other countries (through both regional overviews and separate boxes).

The study has identified the main legal and some non-legal factors affecting the existence and exercise of women’s agriculture-related rights. These factors have been found to have common characteristics across countries and regions. On the other hand, substantial cross-country and cross-sectoral variation in the existence and exercise of women’s rights has been documented. Women’s rights also vary considerably within countries, both geographically and depending on the applicable law (where this varies e.g. according to religious or other belonging). The main findings of the study are summarized in Table 9.

In some cases, discrimination is directly or indirectly entrenched in statutory norms. This is particularly the case in the area of family and succession law. For instance, de jure direct discrimination in inheritance rights has been documented for Tunisia and for some personal laws of India and the Philippines. Moreover, family law may subject women’s taking up of an employment or occupation to the authorization of the husband (e.g. in some Mexican states). As for agrarian law, many land redistribution programmes have mainly benefited men, by including requirements discriminating against women either directly (e.g. Mexico until 1971) or indirectly (e.g. Brazil until recently), and by issuing land titles in the name of the household head only. As for labour law, directly or indirectly discriminatory provisions include bans on women’s night work extending to the agricultural sector (e.g. India’s Plantations Labour Act of 1951), and maternity benefit payment (wholly or in part) by the employer (Burkina Faso, Fiji, India, Mexico and the Philippines).

In other cases, it is the absence of gender-specific provisions that does not adequately protect women’s rights. For instance, sex/gender discrimination is not prohibited by labour law in Kenya and Fiji; dismissal during pregnancy is not prohibited in Burkina Faso, Kenya and Tunisia; most cooperative laws do not explicitly prohibit sex/gender discrimination. In yet other cases, existing guarantees are inadequate; for instance, maternity leave in Kenya and Tunisia is well below international standards.

In some countries, women’s rights are curtailed by the interaction between norms of different nature coexisting in a context of legal pluralism (e.g. customary and statutory law). For instance, the Kenyan land registration programme strengthened the land rights of (male) household heads and weakened women’s customary land rights. In Burkina Faso, while statutory land law is explicitly non-discriminatory, it is customary law (whereby women’s land rights are severely limited) that is mainly applied in rural areas. On the other hand, in some countries discriminatory customary norms have been successfully challenged on the basis of statutory law guaranteeing women’s rights (e.g. the Pastory case in Tanzania).

A phenomenon documented for all areas of law and for all regions of the world (albeit to different degrees) is de facto discrimination. Even where law prohibits discrimination and embodies special measures to advance women, discrimination against women remains widespread in practice. De facto discrimination encompasses for instance banking practices requiring the husband to sign their wives’ contracts; lack of implementation of land law norms mandating joint titling for couples; violations of labour equal-opportunity legislation; exclusion of women from rural cooperatives; and channelling of agricultural extension services through the male household head. These de facto discriminatory practices are those documented in the literature reviewed by the study, and are by no means exhaustive. Discriminatory cultural attitudes, illiteracy, lack of legal awareness, lack of resources to enforce rights and difficulties in accessing courts located in urban areas are among the major factors accounting for de facto discrimination.

Another phenomenon, close to but distinct from de facto discrimination, is the de facto limitation of women’s rights due (not to the conduct of another person but) to the behaviour of women themselves, who internalise discriminatory cultural attitudes e.g. on women’s role in the family and in society. In many cases, it is women themselves who give up their statutory land rights (e.g. as documented for India and Burkina Faso), who refrain from seeking formal employment, and from applying for loans (e.g. as documented for Brazil) and for membership in rural co-operatives. In these cases, where legislation does not explicitly prohibit discrimination and does not envisage special measures for the advancement of women, it endorses discrimination existing in the social, economic and cultural sphere.

Most of the countries covered by the study have made efforts to attain gender equality, both by explicitly prohibiting discrimination on grounds of sex/gender and by adopting special measures for the advancement of women. Examples include: the evolution of family law norms on marital authority in Brazil and South Africa; the civil law reforms in Tunisia; the progressive codification of Hindu law in India; the evolution of some Latin American land reform programmes, including in Mexico and Brazil; the adoption of joint titling in the Philippines; the prohibition of sex discrimination and the protection of maternity in the labour legislation of several covered countries; the prohibition of sex discrimination in cooperatives e.g. in Burkina Faso; the adoption of special measures to facilitate women’s access to credit and training in Brazil, India and the Philippines; and the protection and promotion of women entrepreneurs in Italy. In addition, in many countries the legal status of women has been improved or defended through cases brought before courts (e.g. the Pastory case in Tanzania; the Hanekom case in South Africa; the Mojekwu and Ejikeme cases in Nigeria; the vast case law in India; etc.) and before international human rights institutions (e.g. the Morales de Sierra case in Guatemala).

Where de jure and/or de facto discrimination exists, while women constitute a large portion of the economically active population engaged in agriculture (both as farmers and as farm workers), they have no or little access to productive resources such as land, credit and extension services, and enjoy little protection on the workplace. This negatively affects not only women themselves, but also their family members, especially in the case of female-headed households.

Table 9 - Main findings of the study


Constitution

Civil law (family, succession, contract, property)

Agrarian law

Labour law

Norms on self-employed activities

Brazil

ND

ND; GN

ND; GN; SM; F

ND; SM; F

GN; SM; F

Burkina Faso

ND

GN; ND; J/D

ND; GN

ND

ND; GN; SM

Fiji

(ND); SM

GN; F

GN; F

GN; F

ND; SM; GN; F

India

ND; SM

GN; J/D

ND; J/D; SM; F

ND; F

GN; SM; F

Italy

ND; SM

ND; GN

GN

ND; SM

GN; SM

Kenya

(ND); SM

GN; F

GN; F

GN

GN; F

Mexico

ND

ND; GN; J/D; F

ND; SM; GN; F

ND; F

ND; SM; GN

Philippines

ND; SM

ND; GN; J/D

ND; GN; SM

ND; GN; F

ND; SM; GN

South Africa

ND; SM

GN; J/D

ND; SM; GN; F

ND; SM; F

ND; SM; GN

Tunisia

ND

GN; J/D

GN

ND; F

ND; SM; GN

GN Gender-neutral / non-discriminatory

ND Non-discrimination/equal-rights principle explicitly stated (brackets indicate the presence of exceptions to the principle)

SM Special measures to advance women

J/D De jure direct discrimination

J/I De jure indirect discrimination

F De facto discrimination reported in the literature reviewed by this study (note that de facto discrimination may exist in other covered countries and areas of law, yet it is not reported in the table because it is not documented in the reviewed literature)

Where two or more acronyms are included, they refer to different aspects of relevant legislation and/or to a gap between law and practice.

Note: Given the scope and complexity of the issues involved, this table only provides indicative information and does not substitute for the tables reported in each chapter and for the reading of the text.

5.2. Factors affecting the implementation of women’s rights

As documented in several parts of this study, lack of implementation of existing constitutional and statutory guarantees is a major problem affecting the agriculture related rights of rural women. This lack of implementation is caused by many factors, and primarily by the existence of socio-cultural attitudes conflicting with formal legislation. Other factors affecting implementation (negatively or positively) are more directly related to the legal system, and are examined in this section.

5.2.1. Courts

Access to courts is necessary to enforce rights enshrined in the constitution, in legislation and/or in the case law. Article 2© of the CEDAW mandates states “to ensure through competent national tribunals and other public institutions the effective protection of women against any act of discrimination”. The equality of all persons before courts and tribunals is stated in article 14 of the ICCPR. The right to a legal remedy for human rights violations is protected by article 14 of the ICCPR, articles 6 and 13 of the ECHR, articles 8 and 25 of the ACHR, article 7 of the ACHPR, and article 9 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights (not yet in force). Similar rights are stated in national constitutions and legislation. For example, the Code of Civil Procedure (1999) of Burkina Faso affirms that “every person has the right to access national courts competent for violations of the fundamental human rights recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution, by international treaties, and by laws and regulations in force” (art. 1).

However, access to courts for rural women is in many countries severely limited. First, women’s access to courts may be hindered by family law norms, although there is a general trend to repeal these norms. For instance, in South Africa, women married under customary law were minors under the guardianship of their husband, and could not bring legal proceedings (Black Administration Act of 1927, sec. 11); this norm was repealed by section 6 of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act of 1998, which recognises the full legal capacity of both spouses with regard to litigation. In some countries, the law explicitly recognises the capacity of either spouse to bring claims relating to family property (e.g. article 180 of the Italian Civil Code) and/or to agrarian reform (e.g. in the Philippines, Administrative Order 1 of 2001; Judd and Dulnuan, 2001).

Other obstacles are mainly of a socio-cultural nature. In many countries, women are under represented in the judiciary. In South Africa, for instance, few senior judges are women (RSA/CGE, 1998; CEDAW, 1998). In India, there was no woman judge in the Supreme Court as of 1997, and only 3.7 percent of High Court judges were women in 1992 (United Nations, 1997). In some cases, women’s participation in the judiciary is stronger; in Mexico, women represent 19 percent of the high-level judicial positions (CEDAW, 1998). Moreover, prejudices about the credibility of women witnesses are widespread in many countries (e.g. for South Africa, as documented by RSA/CGE, 1998). Furthermore, cultural factors may interact with redress mechanisms envisaged by legislation. For example, in some rural areas of India, it would be shameful for a woman to claim before courts her rights vis-à-vis her male family members; moreover, practices like female seclusion severely hinder the actual possibility for women to claim their rights (Agarwal, 1994). Finally, rural women’s access to courts may be constrained by geographical inaccessibility, as courts are mainly located in towns and transport costs may be high.

On the other hand, the case law quoted in this study shows that although women’s access to justice may be constrained, courts constitute a fundamental instrument for the enforcement of women’s rights. Moreover, courts are a crucial actor of legal change, by invalidating discriminatory norms on constitutional grounds (e.g. Pastory case in Tanzania), by “amending” the application of norms in the light of constitutional principles (e.g. Kishwar v. Bihar in India) and by directing governments to amend discriminatory legislation (e.g. Dhungana case in Nepal).

5.2.2. Human rights commissions and other independent authorities

Another way to redress violations of women’s rights is provided by independent authorities competent to investigate violations, both upon complaint and motu proprio (human rights commissions, ombudsmen and/or gender-specific institutions). Since the 1990s, there has been a considerable spread of these institutions around the world, as a result of a renewed interest of the international community in human rights and good governance. Compared to courts, these institutions provide more accessible and speedy mechanisms of redress, and are less costly and cumbersome. Another advantage is that where violations may be investigated motu proprio, they may be redressed even where the victims have no access to justice.

Human rights commissions usually do not issue binding decisions, but rather recommendations (an exception is the Human Rights Commission of Uganda, whose decisions are as binding and enforceable as court judgements). When their recommendations are not complied with, human rights commissions may report to Parliament or, in a few cases, bring an action before courts (as in the case of Ghana’s Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice). In federal states, human rights commissions may be established at both federal and state level (e.g. India and Mexico). As for the covered countries, human rights commissions have been established in Mexico (art. 102B of the Constitution and National Commission for Human Rights Act of 1992), South Africa (sec. 184 of the Constitution and Human Rights Commission Act of 1994; see also sec. 24 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000), India (Protection of Human Rights Act of 1993), and Fiji (Human Rights Commission Act of 1999).

Gender-specific institutions may also be established to investigate violations of women’s rights. In South Africa, the Commission on Gender Equality may investigate violations both upon complaint and motu proprio, may resolve disputes by negotiation, mediation or conciliation, and may refer matters to the Human Rights Commission (Commission on Gender Equality Act of 1996, sec. 11). In India, the National Commission for Women (established under the National Commission for Women Act of 1990) can investigate violations both motu proprio and upon complaint.

Human rights and gender commissions can thus contribute in important ways to the implementation of women’s rights. However, their effectiveness may be limited by resource constraints (see section 5.2.5 below) and by factors similar to those relating to courts, such as geographical inaccessibility and socio-cultural factors preventing women from claiming their rights.

5.2.3. Customary dispute settlement authorities

Customary dispute resolution systems have received a renewed interest in the 1990s, and have been the object of considerable debate. To mention just an example, Niger’s 1993 Rural Code provides for a mandatory conciliation procedure before customary authorities as a condition for initiating judicial proceedings. In some cases, statutory recognition of customary institutions is qualified by respect for fundamental principles, which include gender equality. For instance, the Constitution of South Africa recognises the “institution, status and role” of traditional leadership and its application of customary law, subject to the Constitution and statutory law (sec. 211).

For women, customary institutions have advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, compared to courts, customary institutions may provide more easily accessible (both geographically and economically) and speedier forums for rural women, and may enjoy greater social legitimacy in local communities. On the other hand, while their nature varies considerably from place to place, customary institutions are often gender biased in composition and orientation. In most places, they are constituted by male elders, and apply a male-biased interpretation of customary law.

In South Africa, for instance, women’s participation before “traditional courts”, which are formally recognized under the Black Administration Act of 1927, is limited. Women are generally barred from authority positions in the courts. When they do act as councillors in the traditional courts, women face difficulties in being accepted by community members (including by other women). Moreover, in most communities, women are discriminated against in the proceedings: before taking a dispute to the traditional court, they must approach the male elders of the family, who will represent them before the traditional institution; women may speak before the traditional court only if requested to do so, and may be required to leave the court after speaking (RSA/CGE, 1998; RSA/CGE, n.d.).

In India, panchayats (traditional institutions usually based on caste) traditionally excluded women. The 1949 Constitution recognized these institutions on the one hand and democratized them on the other. The Constitution provides for direct election of panchayat members and reserves to women one-third of the seats (secs. 243C and D). However, there are reports that in many areas panchayats continue to be dominated by male elites, and to favour a gender biased interpretation of the law; for instance, panchayat decisions in the Northwest tend to favour the interpretation whereby property is inherited by sons only, to the exclusion of daughters (Agarwal, 1994).

Retaining the advantages (especially in terms of accessibility and social legitimacy) and reforming the disadvantages (e.g. guaranteeing gender equality in all aspects of the proceedings) of customary dispute resolution systems is a possible way forward to put the comparative advantage of these systems at the service of the enforcement of women’s rights.

5.2.4. Legal information and legal aid

A major obstacle to the implementation of women’s statutory rights in rural areas is rural women’s lack of legal awareness and of resources. Indeed, rural women are often unaware of their legal rights. Even where they do know about their rights, they often lack the resources necessary to bring claims (which involves paying lawyers and court fees).

The issue of information is linked to illiteracy. In rural areas, female illiteracy rates are very high, although with considerable cross-country variation. This raises concerns about the means for the dissemination of legal information. Publication of laws in official bulletins alone in unlikely to reach rural women, and supplementary means of information accessible to all (e.g. rural radios) should be considered.

As for rural women’s lack of resources, the Beijing Platform for Action called governments to “ensure access to free or low-cost legal services, including legal literacy, especially designed to reach women living in poverty” (para. 61(a)). The facilitation of women’s access to legal aid is provided for by the Draft Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa (not yet adopted) (art. 9). Provisions on legal aid are also contained in some national constitutions (e.g. the Constitution of India, sec. 39A).

Legal aid is provided in most of the covered countries, although to very different degrees. Many countries have not paid attention to gender in their legal aid schemes. In South Africa, the budget of the Legal Aid Board (established under the Legal Aid Act of 1969) provides for little funds for family law disputes (where women are mostly involved) and focuses instead on criminal law cases (where men form the majority of the accused) (RSA/CGE, 1998). On the other hand, particular attention is paid to women by India’s Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987, as amended in 1994, which explicitly lists women among possible legal aid beneficiaries (sec. 12©).

In addition to government institutions, legal aid is provided to women by a large number of NGOs throughout the world. For instance, the Hanekom case, a South African landmark case on the land tenure security of women farm workers (see section 3.4.4 above), was taken up by the “Security of Farm Workers Project” of a legal NGO, Lawyers for Human Rights (Walker, 2000).

Notwithstanding the activities of both governmental and non-governmental institutions, legal aid remains extremely limited, and in many countries most women living in rural areas have no access to it.

5.2.5. The lack of resources for gender related laws, programmes and institutions

Another problem constraining implementation of gender related legislation is the lack of the necessary resources. This problem cuts across the different issues examined in this study, as lack of resources constrains the implementation of land reform programmes (see e.g. the inadequate resources of the Department of Land Affairs in South Africa and of the CARL reform programme in the Philippines), of labour legislation (as inadequate resources limit the effectiveness of labour inspection systems), and of laws and programmes promoting women entrepreneurs (e.g. the inadequacy of resources for subsidised credit programmes in Fiji’s WOSED, and for the implementation of Italy’s Law 215 of 1992 on the promotion of women entrepreneurs; GoF, 1999, and GoIt, 1999, respectively). Resource inadequacy also constrains the effectiveness of the institutional machinery for the advancement of women. For instance, resource constraints have been reported for the South African Commission for Gender Equality (CEDAW, 1998; INSTRAW, 2000), and for India’s National Commission for Women (CEDAW, 2000).

5.2.6. The lack of “voice” of rural women

In many cases, implementation of constitutional provisions and of statutory norms is also hindered by lack of political will to do so. In this regard, it is worth nothing that women are greatly under represented in decision-making institutions all over the world. While this issue is in itself very broad and outside the scope of this study, it does deserve a brief mention.

First, few women hold decision-making positions within agriculture-related ministries, such as ministries responsible for agriculture, for agrarian reform, for fisheries, etc. (e.g. on sub-Saharan Africa, see FAO, 1995). An exception in this regard is South Africa, where the current Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs is a woman, and the former Secretary-General of the Women’s National Coalition (Walker, 2000).

Second, women’s participation in elected political bodies is also very low. Information concerning the recognition of women’s active and passive right to vote, as well as the share of parliamentary seats currently held by women, is reported in Table 10. The table shows how women’s representation in parliaments is inadequate across all regions of the world, including in industrialised countries. In this regard, it is worth noting that Italian women gained the right to vote later than Brazilian and Filipino women, and that the share of women MPs in Italy is among the lowest in the sample.

Table 10. Women in parliament


Year of women’s suffrage

Women MPs (as % of total)[54]

Brazil

1934

5.9%

Burkina Faso

1958

11%

Fiji

1963

NA

India

1950

7.9%[55]

Italy

1946

10%

Kenya

1963

3.6%

Mexico

1947 (to vote)
1953 (to stand for elections)

15.9%

Philippines

1937

11.8%

South Africa

1930 (Whites)
1984 (Coloureds and Indians)
1994 (Blacks)

27.9%

Tunisia

1959

11.5%

NA = Data not available.

In some countries, seats in decision-making institutions have been reserved for women. In India, the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts of 1993 reserved to women one-third of the seats in local government institutions, while proposals for a similar reservation for federal parliamentary seats is being debated at the moment of writing. In Kenya, a proposal to reserve to women one-third of the parliamentary seats was rejected in 1997 (SIDA, 1999). In other countries, women quotas are established not by legislation but by the statutes or policies of political parties. In South Africa, the ANC adopted women’s quota both in the 1994 and in the 1999 elections (INSTRAW, 2000). With regard to several countries, special measures for the advancement of women (e.g. quota systems) have been called for by the CEDAW Committee as a response to the low level of women’s representation (e.g. for Burkina Faso, CEDAW, 2000).

At the time of writing, among the covered countries only the Philippines had a woman as head of state or government.

5.3. Legal reform and implementation

In the light of the findings of this study, the full realisation of the agriculture-related rights of rural women requires action to be taken at two levels: the first one is legal reform; the second one is implementation of existing norms and of adopted reforms.

Legal reform is necessary in all cases where de jure discrimination exists, in order to repeal discriminatory norms. Moreover, where discrimination exists in the socio-economic life and gender neutral legislation is not enough to ensure gender equality, the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sex must be explicitly stated in the Constitution (repealing existing exceptions) and in legislation (family, land and labour law; laws on cooperatives, training, and agriculture-related services). In some cases, special measures to advance women may be necessary to redress past and existing discrimination, such as granting priority to women in land distribution or in access to public agricultural credit programmes. Other sector-specific measures may also be needed, such as joint titling for couples within land redistribution or registration programmes. As women’s rights are determined by a complex system of rules, legal reform needs to be comprehensive. For instance, where family and succession laws restrict women’s legal capacity and/or inheritance rights, a reform of land legislation to redress gender inequality in land rights can only be effective if accompanied by a reform of discriminatory family and succession laws.

Legal reform does not occur easily, particularly in matters concerning women’s rights. Entrenched cultural attitudes may hinder it. Moreover, in many rural societies, reforming the terms and conditions of access to and control of natural resources would touch the very heart of the social structure, and is therefore resisted. Therefore, reforms are ultimately the result of political processes: political struggle and mobilization are often necessary to obtain them, and their adoption partly depends on the strength of national women’s movements.

The second level of action concerns implementation of existing laws and of reforms adopted. This requires addressing the factors examined in the previous section: access to courts and other dispute resolution mechanisms; dissemination of legal information and provision of legal aid; provision of adequate resources for laws, programmes and institutions; increasing women’s representation in decision-making institutions.

The issue of implementation raises the broader issue of the complex relationship between legal change and social change. On the one hand, legal change follows and reflects social change. Indeed, social change may create new needs in society, which the development of new rules tries to address. To mention just an example, norms on the limited responsibility of companies developed in Western Europe with the growth of a capitalist economy. On the other hand, legal change may promote social change. Human rights law, and particularly the branch concerning women’s rights, aims to reform the existing social structure (although the very concept of human right in turn developed within a context of social change in 17-19th century Europe). In these cases, implementation is inevitably much more difficult, as the process of social and cultural change is very slow. Indeed, “while the formal rules can be changed overnight, the informal norms [i.e. “norms of behaviour, conventions and codes of conduct”] change only gradually” (North, 1995). The fact that in the area of women’s rights legal change does not follow/reflect social change but rather promotes it accounts (together with other factors, including those analysed in the previous section) for the problems affecting the implementation of gender equality legislation. This is especially so where prevailing socio-cultural attitudes, often internalized by women themselves, severely limit women’s rights.

This entails that the two levels of action (legal reform and implementation) are in reality intertwined. Implementation of a legal reform partly depends on the normative content of the reform, and particularly on the extent to which the existing social structure is taken into account by the legislator. For a reform to be implemented at local level and to be sustainable in the long term, the reform process cannot just “import” legislation adopted by other countries and impose it from above on local communities. Such an attempt would create an unbridgeable gap between law and society, and would inevitably face considerable implementation problems.

Rather, legislation should provide an enabling legal framework, by prohibiting sex/gender discrimination and by providing for special measures, within which local communities could develop their own solutions to their own problems. Thus, rather than replacing existing local-level rules and institutions with new ones (which may generate two parallel systems, the formal legal system recognising women’s rights without being applied in practice, and the pre-existing informal, discriminatory system actually applied), legal reform may promote the evolution of existing rules and institutions towards gender equality. For instance, where customary land tenure is widely applied, it may be less costly and more effective to reform its discriminatory aspects (where they exist), rather than to replace it entirely with a new land tenure system. Customary tenure may be reformed through legislation (e.g. prohibiting gender discrimination within customary land tenure; see for instance the Philippines, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997, secs. 2(d), 21 and 26) and/or through case law (e.g. the Pastory case in Tanzania, where a customary rule was successfully challenged relying on a non-discriminatory legal framework). By the same token, customary dispute resolution mechanisms may be used to provide women with access to dispute resolution mechanisms, by reforming them to ensure gender equality while retaining their comparative advantage in terms of accessibility and social legitimacy.

The stark contrast between the status of women under the law and their position in practice, especially in rural areas, has led some to be sceptical about the usefulness of legal reform. This partly originates from the frustration of excessive expectations, i.e. of the illusion that merely adopting a treaty or a law can change society with a pen stroke. Instead, social change is a slow process. Within it, law is only one of the many tools that can and must be used to improve women’s status, together with policies, programmes and activities promoting social and economic development. Moreover, even where a law is not fully implemented, its adoption is not vain. Indeed, the very fact that a constitution or a law is discussed and passed by a constituent assembly or a parliament, the very fact that fundamental human rights are stated in the legislation may contribute to the process of social and cultural change.


[54] Source: UNDP (2001).
[55] Data from Menon-Sen and Kumar (2001).

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