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More than half a century after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights defined what a human being is and is entitled to, Catharine MacKinnon asks: Are women human yet? If women were regarded as human, would they be sold into sexual slavery worldwide; veiled, silenced, and imprisoned in homes; bred, and worked as menials for little or no pay; stoned for sex outside marriage or burned within it; mutilated genitally, impoverished economically, and mired in illiteracy--all as a matter of course and without effective recourse? The cutting edge is where law and culture hurts, which is where MacKinnon operates in these essays on the transnational status and treatment of women. Taking her gendered critique of the state to the international plane, ranging widely intellectually and concretely, she exposes the consequences and significance of the systematic maltreatment of women and its systemic condonation. And she points toward fresh ways--social, legal, and political--of targeting its toxic orthodoxies. MacKinnon takes us inside the workings of nation-states, where the oppression of women defines community life and distributes power in society and government. She takes us to Bosnia-Herzogovina for a harrowing look at how the wholesale rape and murder of women and girls there was an act of genocide, not a side effect of war. She takes us into the heart of the international law of conflict to ask--and reveal--why the international community can rally against terrorists' violence, but not against violence against women. A critique of the transnational status quo that also envisions the transforming possibilities of human rights, this bracing book makes us look as never before at an ongoing war too long undeclared.
Introduction by Mary McDermott Shideler One of the first women to graduate from Oxford University, Dorothy Sayers pursued her goals whether or not what she wanted to do was ordinarily understood to be "feminine." Sayers did not devote a great deal of time to talking or writing about feminism, but she did explicitly address the issue of women's role in society in the two classic essays collected here. Central to Sayers's reflections is the conviction that both men and women are first of all human beings and must be regarded as essentially much more alike than different. We are to be true not so much to our sex as to our humanity. The proper role of both men and women, in her view, is to find the work for which they are suited and to do it. Though written several decades ago, these essays still offer in Sayers's piquant style a sensible and conciliatory approach to ongoing gender issues.
Women's Human Rights: Seeking Gender Justice in a Globalising Age explores the emergence of transnational, UN-oriented, feminist advocacy for womens human rights, especially over the past three decades. It identifies the main feminist influences that have shaped the movement liberal, radical, third world and cosmopolitan and exposes how the Western, legalist, state-centric, and liberal biases of mainstream human rights discourse impede the realisation of human rights in womens lives everywhere. The book traces the evolution of the womens human rights movement through an examination of its key issues, debates, and practical interventions in international law and policy arenas. This includes efforts to: Develop global gender equality norms via the UN Womens Convention Frame violence against women as a human rights issue Address gender-based crimes in conflict situations, include women in conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction, and challenge new forms of militarism Highlight the gendered human rights dimensions of widening inequalities in a context of neo-liberal globalisation Develop human rights responses to anti-feminist fundamentalist movements with a focus on reproductive and sexual rights Ultimately, Women's Human Rights reaffirms a commitment to critically reinterpreted universal human rights principles and demonstrates the vital role that bottom-up, transnational movements play in making them a reality in women's lives.
This book focusses on women’s human rights in India. Drawing on case studies, it provides a clear overview of the key sources on gender and rights in the country. Further, it contextualizes women’s rights at the critical intersection of caste, religion and class, and analyses barriers to the realization of women’s human rights in practice. It also develops strategies for moving forward towards greater recognition, protection, promotion and fulfilment of women’s human rights in India. Drawing on critical pedagogical tools to analyse groundbreaking court cases, this book will be a key text in human rights studies. It will be indispensable to students, scholars and researchers of gender studies, sociology, law and human rights.
This study is a critique of the institutional structures and cultural dynamics that pose obstructions to U.S. ratification. The United States is a liberal democratic state founded upon ideals of freedom and equality, thus the history of non-ratification of major international human rights treaties appears to be an anomaly. This book suggests that it is not. Liberal democracy, as it was conceived and has developed in the United States, is problematic as a model in the globalization of concern for women's human rights. This study is not a comparative examination of state exclusion and oppression of women. Neither is it an attempt to distinguish the United States in the larger sense from other Western liberal democratic regimes in its treatment of women. Rather, the study is a gender-sensitive examination of specific dynamics and characteristics inherent to the socio-political, economic, and legal systems of the United States which have precluded incorporation of the rights of women on an equal basis with the rights of men. The interaction of these dynamics and characteristics describes a uniquely American view of itself and its own history which serves to render the U.S. system troublesome as an examplar for state incorporation of the human rights of women. Unreserved ratification of CEDAW constitutes a strong indication of effort, by the ratifying state, to protect the human rights of women. The United States has refused to ratify CEDAW.
II: WOMEN AND HEALTH
Rebecca J. Cook and the contributors to this volume seek to analyze how international human rights law applies specifically to women in various cultures worldwide, and to develop strategies to promote equitable application of human rights law at the international, regional, and domestic levels. Their essays present a compelling mixture of reports and case studies from various regions in the world, combined with scholarly assessments of international law as these rights specifically apply to women.

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