Introduction to 'Sexual Movements and Gendered Boundaries: Legal Negotiations of the Global and the Local'
Social and Legal Studies (2005) 14(1): 5-15
Posted: 21 Jul 2015
Date Written: March 1, 2005
This special issue examines the interplay between national and international legal arenas in the governance and regulation of gender and sexuality. For scholars of gender, sexuality and law, there is much to cheer at the international level. We might, for instance, celebrate the unprecedented visibility and activity of both feminist and lesbian and gay movements. The result of that increased profile is a strengthening of policy and laws governing a variety of social justice issues, from violence against women to HIV/AIDS. ‘Women’s rights as human rights’ has become a familiar slogan, bandied about by even the most unlikely international bureaucrat. Similarly, lesbian and gay rights, while hotly resisted by many, have attracted a phalanx of notable supporters. Influential human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have dedicated ‘gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered’ departments, and the complex human rights machinery of the United Nations is increasingly recognizing and responding to human rights violations of lesbian and gay men (Wintemute, 1995; Sanders, 1996; Stychin, 2003; Miller and Vance, 2004). This increased visibility and an apparent erosion of traditional exclusions present opportunities and challenges for scholars and activists alike. For the contributors to this special issue (Bunting, 2005; Munro, 2005; De Vries, 2005; Doezema, 2005; Millbank, 2005) from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the UK, this new international climate represents not so much the end point of a progressive narrative, but, rather, the point of entry into the debate – a critical moment for asking new questions.
Keywords: gender; sexuality; human rights; socio-legal; social movements; local/global
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