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Hodgson, Dorothy Louise. 2002. “Women’s Rights as Human Rights: Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF).” Africa Today 49 (2): 3–26.
Author: Dorothy Louise Hodgson
In recent years, "women's rights as human rights" has emerged as a new transnational approach to demanding women's empowerment. This article explores the advantages and limitations of such an approach to women's activism in Africa through a case study of Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), a multinational African NGO that has been at the forefront of using "women's rights as human rights" to educate women throughout the continent about their legal rights, lobby for national legislative reforms, extend the scope of state accountability, and mobilize international support. Issues addressed include the tensions between universal human rights and national and local differences, the significance of a shift from the language of needs to human rights, the influence of transnational meetings and networks, efforts to reconcile internal social differences among members, and the constraints to such an approach.
Keywords: human rights, NGO, transnationalism, law
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