'Culturing' Survival: Afro-Caribbean Migrant Culture and the Human Rights of Women under Globalization
American Society of International Law, Proceedings of the 93rd Annual Meeting, March 24-27, 1999
2 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2007 Last revised: 1 Sep 2013
Date Written: 1999
These remarks were delivered at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law (24-27 March 1999, Washington, DC) for a panel on the rule of law vs. cultural authority. The reality for working-class Afro-Caribbean women migrants (called "lionheart gals" by one Caribbean feminist organization) is that both "the rule of law" and "cultural authority" can enhance, or undermine, the protection of fundamental human rights. For lionheart gals, the choice is not between a liberating rule of law and a static, cocoonlike cultural authority. For them, the primary imperative is to use law and culture in a creative struggle for survival against the onslaught of racism, sexism, poverty, nativism and globalization.
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