Honors College Theses

Publication Date



International Trade (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Kate Perry


To what extent does the practice of human rights as universal or culturally relative impact women’s status in the global economy? While there is already evidence to show how women have less power in countries that practice culturally relative human rights, this study aims to explore how the domestic practice of human rights influences women’s global power through an analysis of women’s financial inclusion. Using a cross-national, quantitative analysis, I show that human rights practices in the domestic arena directly impact the economic power of women in the global economy. When human rights practices at home are more universal in nature, women’s financial inclusion across the global economy is higher, yet, when domestic practices are more culturally relative, women’s financial inclusion suffers, impeding their ability to compete in the international economy. While scholars have presented many valid arguments in favor of culturally relative human rights practices, I argue that given the rise of globalization and the dire need for women to gain more economic power to be competitive in the global marketplace, domestic practices of human rights no longer remain isolated, and thus, must embrace universal practices as a whole. This study is important because it reinforces the concept and importance of universal human rights while adding to the growing body of work on the power of women around the world.

Thesis Summary

This study examines human rights practices as they relate to women's global economic power through conducting a cross-national, quantitative analysis. Using a patrilineal/fraternal syndrome scale and financial inclusion index, I conclude that as the domestic practice of human rights is more universal in nature, women’s level of financial inclusion in the global economy increases.