Negotiating Difference/Negotiating Rights: The Challenges and Opportunities of Women’s Human Rights

  • Citation: Guerrina, Roberta and Marysia Zalewski. “Negotiating Difference/Negotiating Rights: The challenges and opportunities of women’s human rights” The Review of International Studies, 33.1 (2007) 5-10.
    • Topics:
    • Human Rights
    • Keywords:
    • women’s human rights
    • feminist critique
    • human rights obligations

The year 2004 marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. A significant landmark in the development of a coherent strategy for the promotion and protection of women’s human rights, it established the principle that for women to enjoy equal rights, they needed an extra layer of ‘protection’. More importantly, it detailed states’ legal obligations in the area of women’s rights. Since then, the development of women’s human rights has continued to challenge the boundaries between the public, the private and the international. It was in this context that the Beijing women’s conference (1995) created a climate of expectation among women’s groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that the project to advance women’s human rights in practice might gather and sustain momentum. Yet, it is evident that there remains an enormous gap between the rhetoric and realities of women’s human rights, whereby women’s rights continue to be contested in countries across the world and governments are often unwilling to fulfil their international obligations.

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