The Montreal Principles on Women's Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

While there are a number of activists working on issues related to women and economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), there is rarely an opportunity to meet and discuss the potential of collaboration for the advancement of women’s ESCR. The Working Group on Women’s ESCR was created at the beginning of ESCR-Net, together with the online discussion group, to provide a forum for women’s economic, social and cultural rights activists and advocates to share strategies and develop a common agenda for women’s economic and social equality.

The Working Group on Women's ESCR was instrumental in producing the The Montreal Principles on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to guide interpretation and implementation of the rights found in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) so that women can enjoy these rights fully and equally.  The Principles are particularly helpful in providing clear guidance to States eager to understand and achieve substantive equality for women, including via temporary special measures.  These Principles are now being utilized by a number of groups in their ongoing advocacy and analysis.

Collective work on the Montreal Principles has been coordinated by Leilani Farha (Center for Equality Rights in Accommodation-CERA) and Marianne Mollman (currently Women’s Rights Program, Human Rights Watch).  CERA has completed a Plain Language Guide to the Montreal Principles to assist in these efforts.


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