Women's Capabilities and Social Justice

Martha Nussbaum

in Gender Justice, Development, and Rights

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780199256457
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601989 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

Women's Capabilities and Social Justice

Show Summary Details


This chapter proposes a capabilities approach to international development that can recognize and address the special problems women face. It focuses on human capabilities, i.e., what people are able to do and be, based on the idea that a life is worthy of the dignity of the human being. A list of central human capabilities are identified, and set within the context of a type of political liberalism that makes them specific political goals and free from any specific metaphysical grounding. This way, capabilities become the object of an overlapping consensus among people who would otherwise have different conceptions of the good.

Keywords: capabilities approach; social justice; women’s development; cross-cultural norms; human rights; human dignity; human capabilities; liberalism

Chapter.  14083 words. 

Subjects: Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.