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close this bookABC of Women Workers' Rights and Gender Equality (ILO; 2000; 124 pages)
View the documentThe International Labour Organization
View the documentILO Publications
View the documentPreface to the earlier ABC of women workers' rights
View the documentPreface to the new ABC of women workers' rights and gender equality
close this folderIntroduction: Labour standards promoting women workers' rights and gender equality (Ingeborg Heide1)
View the document1. How to use this guide
View the document2. Gender equality in the ILO's mandate
View the document3. International labour Conventions and Recommendations
View the document4. History of standard setting to promote women workers' rights and gender equality
View the document5. Gender equality - A fundamental human right
View the document6. International labour standards, supranational law and national law
View the document7. Application and enforcement at the national level
View the document8. ILO standard setting and other means of action
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View the documentOther ILO publications
View the documentBack cover
 

5. Gender equality - A fundamental human right

Eight Conventions have been designated by the ILO as embodying fundamental principles and rights. Two of them have the specific aim of promoting gender equality: Convention No. 100, of 1951, concerning equal remuneration between men and women for work of equal value, and Convention No. 111, of 1958, concerning non-discrimination in employment and occupation.

The Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up, adopted by the International Labour Conference in 1998, sets out the following areas in which fundamental rights and principles are to be promoted and realized: (a) freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; (b) the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; (c) the abolition of child labour; and (d) the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. This means that all ILO member States have an obligation, arising from the very fact of their membership, to respect, promote and realize the principles concerning those fundamental rights which are the subject of those Conventions.

The protection and promotion of equality between women and men are likewise basic concepts underlying international human rights, as acknowledged by United Nations instruments such as the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Such provisions are also binding on States which have not ratified specific ILO instruments but have ratified these more general international standards.

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