Gender, Justice and Law in a Global Market
A Research Companion to Feminist Legal Theory, Margaret Davies & Vanessa Munro , eds., Ashgate Publishing, Forthcoming
27 Pages Posted: 31 May 2012
Date Written: May 31, 2012
Recognition of women’s human rights has been a focus of international activism for over thirty years. Political campaigns, such as those to confront tolerance of myriad forms of violence against women, have been successful in forcing the position of women on to the international stage. These battles were hard fought and fraught with tensions but nonetheless the ‘culturally sensitive’ universalism (Engle 2005) that emerged laid the cornerstones for creative use of rights by women’s activist groups throughout the world. The positive momentum of this movement was reflected in the UN conferences of the 1990s, a period of optimism. However, the rights framework emerged against the backdrop of the profound economic, social and political changes associated with the collapse of the Soviet system and the triumph of neo liberal economic development, which has resulted in the contemporary forms of globalisation of the 21st century.
Until recently, feminist engagement with the theories and practices of development has followed a different path. Rooted in the wider discourse of development, practitioners have tackled the gender blind nature of much economic development theory and practice and highlighted the consequent impact of the unequal distribution of economic and social resources within Global South communities and states. Gender and development campaigners succeeded in ensuring that gender concerns have been ‘mainstreamed’ into normative frameworks and multilateral and state based development policies. Does this represent another success story?
Keywords: development, gender, Polanyi, markets
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