Accommodating Women's Differences Under the Women's Anti-Discrimination Convention

54 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2007 Last revised: 13 Dec 2013

See all articles by Rebecca J. Cook

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Susannah Howard

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to explore how the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (the Women's Anti-Discrimination Convention) can be more effectively applied to accommodate the differences women experience in the abortion context. Accommodating differences in the abortion context requires states to move beyond the myopic focus on the legality of the actual procedure to understand how the health care system neglects women, how antiabortion laws expropriate women's bodies and lives through forced childbearing and childrearing, and how they diminish women's moral agency. States are required not only to accommodate women's biological differences, but also to redress the dignity-denying treatment to which women are subjected in their various pathways to abortion. Equality requires that states address the discriminatory treatment in the health care system, and address socio-cultural norms to ensure that all women have equal and dignified access to services that respond to their particular health need, and that respect their moral agency.

Keywords: Women's health, reproductive health, abortion, law, equality, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

JEL Classification: K10, J13, I18, I10

Suggested Citation

Cook, Rebecca J. and Howard, Susannah, Accommodating Women's Differences Under the Women's Anti-Discrimination Convention. Emory Law Journal, Vol. 56, p. 1039, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1029375

Rebecca J. Cook (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park Cr.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4446 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Susannah Howard

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

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