‘Women and Poverty: A Human Rights Approach’ (28-30 April 2014, Kigali, Rwanda)

by | Apr 18, 2014

The Oxford Human Rights Hub was pleased to host a major global conference on ‘Women and Poverty: A Human Rights Perspective’, held in Kigali, Rwanda on April 28-30, 2014. The conference took place at the Lemigo Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda.

Conference Overview

While the feminization of poverty has long been a recognized phenomenon, gender inequality and poverty are often conceptualized as two separate problems. Poverty is often addressed from a gender neutral standpoint rather than a comprehensive, integrated and holistic gendered perspective. This fails to capture the many inter-locking human rights violations experienced by impoverished women. This invisibility is compounded by the misconception that economic prosperity or an increase in human development corresponds to an increase in gender equality and empowerment.  With the post-2015 Development Goals prominent on the international and national agenda, it is a key moment to pause and shine the spotlight on human rights responses to gendered poverty.

This conference brought together, and fostered, a network of leading actors in various disciplines working in poverty, gender equality and human rights. We explored current developments, analysed existing weaknesses and attempted to point towards future improvements in the ways in which human rights law frameworks can address the problems of women’s poverty.

Official Programme

The official programme can be found here and conference abstracts here.

A list of registered participants can be found here.

Conference Partners

This conference is hosted by the Oxford Human Rights Hub, in partnership with the Oxford Martin School’s Human Rights for Future Generations Programme, the University of Cape Town, the University of Rwanda, and with the support of the Chief Justice Sam Rugege, Chief Justice of Rwanda.

More information can be found by viewing the event flyer and leaflet.

Programme Panels

  • Women and Poverty: A human rights approach
  • Developing Gender Equality
  • A Judicial Conversation – Achieving Gender Equality: The Respective Roles of Courts and Policy
  • Women and Economic Development: The Promise of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Women and Work: Labour and Social Security
  • The Interaction of Women, Poverty and Customary Law
  • Exploring the Potential of Socio-economic Rights to Remedy Women’s Poverty
  • Future Developments in research into the role of human rights law in relation to women and poverty
  • Gender, Poverty and Migration: A Human Rights Approach
  • Women, Poverty and Land

Video Summary


Audio Recordings:

(We will be progressively uploading audio recordings from the conference below as they become available)

Panel 6: Exploring the Potential of Socio-Economic Rights to Remedy Women’s Poverty


  • Godwin Chinedu Odo (University of Pretoria) – Towards a right-based approach to addressing maternal mortality and morbidity in Africa
  • Prof Pamela Abbott and Dr Dixon Malunda, (University of Aberdeen and Institute of Policy Analysis and Research(Rwanda))—Socioeconomic Development, Gendered Inequalities in Agriculture and Women’s Rights in Rwanda
  • Yvonne Matuturu, (UNESCO Masion de la Culture de la Paix, UNESCO Burundi)—Education as a Leverage to Alleviate Women’s Poverty in Burundi

Audio of Panel 6:


Panel 7: Women and Economic Development: The Promise of Corporate Social Responsibility


  • Dr. Jeni Klugman (Sector Director-Gender and Development, Poverty Reduction & Economic Management Network, World Bank)—Gender Equality and Economic Opportunities: An Overview of Patterns, Constraints and Emerging Solutions
  • Professor Chris Mayna Peter (Member of the International Law Commission) –Wrong Path out of Poverty: Women and Corporate Social Responsibility

Audio of Panel 7: 


Panel 8: Women and Work: Labour Law and Social Security


  • Dr  Juliana Masanbo (University of Dar es Salaam)—Unblocking the Barriers: Making the EAC Regime Beneficial to Female Labour Migrants
  • Professor Frances Lund Director of the Social Protection Programme of Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing and a Senior Research Associate in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies (University of KwaZulu-Natal) –Security for women in the informal economy: between labour law, urban regulation and social protection

Audio of Panel 8:


Panel 10: The Interaction of Women, Poverty and Customary Law


  • Dr Sindiso Mnisi Weeks (Senior Researcher Centre for Law and Society, University of Cape Town)
  • Professor John C Mubangizi (University of KwaZulu-Natal)—Gender-related Cultural Practices that Violate Human Rights and Perpetuate Women’s Poverty: An African Perspective
  • Tabeth Masengu, (University of Cape Town)—‘Impoverishing Women; Lessons Learnt from Ramantele v Mmusi and Others

Audio of Panel 10:



 Event Photos:

Pre conference speakers’ dinner:

Opening Ceremony:

Pannel Photos: 

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