Instructions in Inequality: Development, Human Rights, Capabilities, and Gender Violence in School

This Article argues that the international community’s gender equality targets will not be realized by 2015 because the problems associated with sexual violence against girls in schools are situated at an intersection of contested conceptual divides between human rights (civil and political liberties) and development aims (social and economic needs). Cracks in the conceptual foundations of both the liberal and utilitarian theories of justice and equality, which support traditional human rights advocacy and economic development plans, respectively render each approach inadequate to fully identify and address the grave danger sexual violence and harassment in schools pose to educational equality. In the end, this Article posits that development policy debates and human rights advocacy addressing the issue of gender equality in education could be advanced more constructively by the application of a “capabilities approach.”