Surprisingly, the rich history of rights and participatory approaches is relatively unknown to many development and rights practitioners. Consequently, historical insights applicable to today’s challenges of inequality and exclusion often remain untapped.
Drawing on our 30-year practical experience and related research on these efforts, this article will examine three main areas of past innovation and thinking that link rights and participation and explore how they address power and encourage critical consciousness and citizenship. First we will trace diverse historical and conceptual streams shaping participatory approaches, and then will examine specific legal rights strategies and women’s rights experiences from the last several decades.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 36.1 (2005) Rights‐based Approaches: Recovering Past Innovations