Women's Rights as Human Rights: Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF)


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

Topics: Gender, Women, International Law, International Human Rights, NGOs, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2002

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.