Democracy and Human Rights Versus Women’s Security: A Contradiction?

Authored by: Mary Caprioli

Categories: Human Rights
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation
Region: No Region
Year: 2004
Citation: Caprioli, Mary. “Democracy and Human Rights Versus Women’s Security: A Contradiction?” Security Dialogue 35, no. 4 (December 2004): 411–28.

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Notions of security are often presumed to be gender neutral, with women and men assumed to share the same political freedoms and human rights. However, assumptions of gender neutrality often mask bias. Do democracy and human rights positively relate to women’s security? If a gender bias is inherent in these norms, then any conclusions drawn from studies using such measures will be strictly limited, and policy prescriptions designed to ensure security must move beyond policies focusing on promoting democracy and human rights as currently conceptualized. Using a cross-national, longitudinal analysis, this article systematically examines whether democracy and human rights reflect women’s security, and concludes that neither democracy nor human rights as commonly measured ensure women’s security.