Gendered States: Rethinking Culture as a Site of South Asian Human Rights Work


Visweswaran, Kamala. 2004. “Gendered States: Rethinking Culture as a Site of South Asian Human Rights Work.” Human Rights Quarterly 26 (2): 483–511.

Author: Kamala Visweswaran


This article explores recent critiques in feminist theory to examine how gender-based asylum cases and human rights reporting on South Asia rely upon the most static and patriarchal understandings of culture to establish a basis for intervention or advocacy. It argues that while cultural practices indeed reflect upon women's status, for gender-based asylum cases the emphasis may be more effectively placed upon a particular political system's denial of women's rights, or upon the interface between culture and the political system, rather than upon "culture" itself.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2004

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