Amartya Sen (1999) talks about freedom in his book “Development as Freedom”in which he states expanding freedom to be the primary end and principal means of development. Sen mentiones five unique freedoms that he accepts to be basic to human life: political freedoms, economic facilities, social opportunities, transparency guarantees, and protective security. To Sen, poverty exists due to individuals being denied of these freedoms. Developing nations should hope to improve these freedoms and the capabilities to lead more liberated lives. In order for this Sen emphasizes the importance of empowerment. By enabling freedom and providing opportunities, individuals have an opportunity to escape poverty. This is particularly valid for women in developing nations who have reliably been denied many of the freedoms and opportunities outlined by Sen1.
As per Sen “the extensive reach of women’s agency is one of the more neglected areas of development studies, and most urgently in need of correction. Nothing, arguably, is as important today in the political economy of development as an adequate recognition of political, economic and social participation and leadership of women. This is indeed crucial aspect of freedom”2
“A number of studies have shown that sustainable development is impossible without women’s empowerment and gender equality. Consequently, it is asserted that gender equality is both a human rights issue and a precondition for, and indicator of, sustainable development”3
The SDGs recognizes “the need to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies that provide equal access to justice and that are based on respect for human rights inclusive of the right to development , on effective rule of law and good governance at all levels and on transparent, effective and accountable institutions4. As mentioned above for good governance women’s political participation is vital.
1 Clifton, H. (2013). Amartya Sen on Development. Discovering Development. The Dreams and the Damage. Retrieved 13 January 2018, from https://developmenthannahclifton.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/amartya-sen-on-development/
2 Sen, A. (1999). Development as freedom (p. 166). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
3Alvarez, M. (2013). From Unheard Screams to Powerful Voices: A Case Study of Women’s Political Empowerment in the Philippines (Masters). Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University Seoul, Korea.
4 United Nations Human Rights, OHCHR | In Search of Dignity and Sustainable Development for All”, Right to Development Anniversary, 29 Feb 2016 available at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Development/Pages/SearchOfDignity.aspx#ftn20 Accessed 11 Jan. 2018