Author: Rangita de Silva-de Alwis

Year Published: 2009


The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which came into operation in1989 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) which came into operation ten years before that have had a profound impact on the promotion of women and children’s human rights. Constitutional and legislative reform initiatives in many countries now prohibit discrimination based on sex and age.1 Such revisions based on equality in the areas of property and land ownership, marriage, family relations and employment benefit both women and children, highlighting the causal relationship between the two groups. New legislation outlawing violence against women and family members provide further protection and remedies. Unfortunately, gender- based discrimination remains pervasive, manifesting itself throughout the life cycle in the guise of foeticide, infanticide, son preference, girl child marriage, dowry, domestic violence, sexual harassment and a host of custom- specific de valuing of girl children and women. These discriminatory provisions affect boys in different ways as they create an enabling environment and even a climate of impunity for violence and discrimination against women which diminishes girls and boys, women and children.

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