Human Rights and Gender Violence: Translating International Law into Local Justice

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Jul 27, 2009 - Social Science - 264 pages
Human rights law and the legal protection of women from violence are still fairly new concepts. As a result, substantial discrepancies exist between what is decided in the halls of the United Nations and what women experience on a daily basis in their communities. Human Rights and Gender Violence is an ambitious study that investigates the tensions between global law and local justice.

As an observer of UN diplomatic negotiations as well as the workings of grassroots feminist organizations in several countries, Sally Engle Merry offers an insider's perspective on how human rights law holds authorities accountable for the protection of citizens even while reinforcing and expanding state power. Providing legal and anthropological perspectives, Merry contends that human rights law must be framed in local terms to be accepted and effective in altering existing social hierarchies. Gender violence in particular, she argues, is rooted in deep cultural and religious beliefs, so change is often vehemently resisted by the communities perpetrating the acts of aggression.

A much-needed exploration of how local cultures appropriate and enact international human rights law, this book will be of enormous value to students of gender studies and anthropology alike.

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Contents

Culture and Transnationalism
1944
CHAPTER TWO Creating Human Rights
1979
CHAPTER THREE Gender Violence and the CEDAW Process
CHAPTER FOUR Disjunctures between Global Law and Local Justice
Making Human Rights in the Vernacular
CHAPTER SIX Localizing Human Rights and Rights Consciousness
CHAPTER SEVEN Conclusions
Notes
References
Index
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 1966 - violence against women" means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
Page 1983 - Gender-based violence and all forms of sexual harassment and exploitation, Including those resulting from cultural prejudice and international trafficking, are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person, and must be eliminated.
Page 1969 - States should condemn violence against women and should not invoke any custom, tradition or religious consideration to avoid their obligations with respect to its elimination.

About the author (2009)

Sally Engle Merry is professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Institute for Law and Society at New York University. She is the author of several books, including Colonizing Hawai‘i: The Cultural Process of Law and Getting Justice and Getting Even, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.

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