JUS5910 – Women's Law and Human Rights

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Course content

The course presents the international legal framework for women's human rights with emphasis on basic principles such as equality and non-discrimination, freedom, integrity and dignity embedded in the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The principle of substantive equality and direct, indirect, structural and intersectional discrimination is elaborated in the light of the CEDAW with reference to relevant provisions in the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, European Union Law and the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of African Women.

The right to equality and non-discrimination, integrity and freedom is substantiated through a focus on the right to work, reproductive health rights, the right to protection against violence, the right to housing and land and the right to water and sanitation.

National and local case studies from Scandinavia, Asia and Africa demonstrate how state and non-state actors have invoked, adopted or resisted the CEDAW and related instruments in different legal, political, economic and socio-cultural contexts.

Cross-cutting core topics are:

  • The CEDAW regime’s added value in comparison to and in interaction with other international mechanisms  with focus on the CEDAW’s gender specific, transformative and holistic approach.
  • How international law responds to women’s lived realities with focus on protection against violence  and social economic rights such as the right to work the right to a home and the right to water.
  • The relationship between different human rights principles, such as gender equality, freedom of religion and protection of custom and culture.
  • The domestication of women’s right to gender equality and non-discrimination through civic action, legislation and judicial review.
  • The relationship between human rights and legal pluralism: NGO’s as mediators and translators between international, national and local norms.

For students enrolled in Rettsvitenskap (jus) (master - 5 år): Have you considered a specialization as part of your degree? The course is part of the profile Velferd og likeverd

Read more about profiles.

Learning outcome

See ‘Detailed course information’ regarding requirements and syllabus.


You may register for this course if you have admission to a Master’s programme at UiO or the faculty's exchange programme. You can also register for this course if you do not have admission to any programme at UiO, but meet the formal prerequistites.

All students are required meet the formal prerequistites.

Have you met the formal prerequisites at another institution than the University of Oslo, and the results are not formally registered at UiO, you must apply for admission to courses at Master’s level . Students with admission to Master’s degree programmes at other faculties than The Faculty of Law must also apply for admission.

When your admission is in order you must register for courses in StudentWeb


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Students must fill one of these requirements:

  • Passed 1st - 3rd year of the 5-years degree Master of Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) (or exams that qualify for exemption for these) or
  • Hold a 5-years Master’s degree in Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) or equivalent.

Exemptions from the formal prerequisites will be given to students with admission to the faculty's own exchange or master’s degree programmes. This rule does not apply to students with admission to other master’s degree programmes at the University of Oslo, unless otherwise agreed.

Recommended previous knowledge

Three years of law studies.



Language of teaching for this course is English. This means that all
communication during lectures/seminars will be in English, and all
literature and auxiliary materials are in English.


Written home exam, duration 3 days, maximum 4000 words. 

Use of sources and rules for citing

Be sure that you are familiar with the use of sources and the rules for citing/quoting from others work .
UiO uses a plagiarism checking tool as one of several instruments for detecting suspicion of cheating and attempted cheating.

Examination support material

Previous exam papers

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Marking criteria 

This  guide is used by examiners for grading this course.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take this exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

There are special rules for resitting a passed examination in the master's programme in Law.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.


The language for this course is English. Students enrolled in the
Masterprogrammet i rettsvitenskap must pass one
English subject as part of their degree, this course will meet these

This subject is taught at Master 's level. The subject is also taught at Bachelor's level (15 ECTS credits), see JUR1910 – Women's Law and Human Rights (BA). Please see the chapter above, regarding overlap. For instances of overlap, credits will be deducted on the subject at Bachelors's level.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language