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Cover for Advancing Equality

Advancing Equality

How Constitutional Rights Can Make a Difference Worldwide

Jody Heymann, Aleta Sprague, Amy Raub, Dikgang Moseneke (Foreword by)


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In a world where basic human rights are under attack and discrimination is widespread, Advancing Equality reminds us of the critical role of constitutions in creating and protecting equal rights. Combining a comparative analysis of equal rights in the constitutions of all 193 United Nations member countries with inspiring stories of activism and powerful court cases from around the globe, the book traces the trends in constitution drafting over the past half century and examines how stronger protections against discrimination have transformed lives. Looking at equal rights across gender, race and ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability, social class, and migration status, the authors uncover which groups are increasingly guaranteed equal rights in constitutions, whether or not these rights on paper have been translated into practice, and which nations lag behind. Serving as a comprehensive call to action for anyone who cares about their country’s future, Advancing Equality challenges us to remember how far we all still must go for equal rights for all.

A free open access ebook is available upon publication. Learn more at 

University of California Press, 9780520309630, 416pp.

Publication Date: January 14, 2020

About the Author

Jody Heymann is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences; Distinguished Professor at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, Fielding School of Public Health, and Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; and Founding Director of the WORLD Policy Analysis Center.

Aleta Sprague is Senior Legal Analyst at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center and an attorney whose career has focused on advancing public policies and laws that address inequality.

Amy Raub is Principal Research Analyst at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center and an economist with over a decade of experience working on discrimination and inequality.

Dikgang Moseneke is the former Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.