I am really pleased to be writing for IntLawGrrls for the first time and to introduce my new book Developing the Right to Social Security – A Gender Perspective which is part of the Routledge Research in Human Rights Series. The right to social security has become increasingly relevant in the context of austerity cuts to welfare in many parts of the developed world following the global financial crisis. At the same time, there has been a burgeoning of social protection programs in developing nations as a response to poverty. Many countries in the world now recognise the right to social security within their national constitutions and the international law in this area has recently been given greater definition. These developments present an opportunity to consider the gender dimensions of this right, particularly as women face disproportional poverty all over the world.
My book develops a set of principles for a substantively equal, gendered right to social security by rethinking the relationship between the right to social security and traditional conceptions of work. I argue for a new understanding of this crucial right that takes account of women’s unpaid labour, informal work, and care, within the context of global economic changes. The book applies this gender perspective to an examination of the international law on the right to social security and includes three country studies – India, South Africa and Australia. Hopefully the book will be of interest to people working on international law, comparative constitutional law, social policy, feminism and women’s rights.