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Constitutions

Panchayati Raj, 73rd Constitutional Amendment and Women

Citation:

Mohanty, Bidyut. 1995. “Panchayati Raj, 73rd Constitutional Amendment and Women.” Economic and Political Weekly 30 (52): 3346-50.

Author: Bidyut Mohanty

Abstract:

If reservations for women in panchayati raj institutions are to lead to their empowerment in real terms, social, economic and political conditions which facilitate and encourage their participation need to be created.

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Constitutions Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 1995

Constituting Equality: Gender Equality and Comparative Constitutional Law

Citation:

Williams, Susan Hoffman. 2009. Constituting Equality: Gender Equality and Comparative Constitutional Law. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Susan Hoffman Williams

Abstract:

Constituting Equality addresses the question, how would you write a constitution if you really cared about gender equality? The book takes a design-oriented approach to the broad range of issues that arise in constitutional drafting concerning gender equality. Each section of the book examines a particular set of constitutional issues or doctrines across a range of different countries to explore what works, where, and why. Topics include (1) governmental structure (particularly electoral gender quotas); (2) rights provisions; (3) constitutional recognition for cultural or religious practices that discriminate against women; (4) domestic incorporation of international law; and (5) the role of women in the process of constitution-making. Interdisciplinary in orientation and global in scope, the book provides a menu for constitutional designers and others interested in how the fundamental legal order might more effectively promote gender equality. (Cambridge University Press)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions

Year: 2009

Overcoming the Conflict Between the Right to Freedom of Religion and Women’s Rights to Equality: A South African Case Study of Muslim Marriages

Citation:

Amien, Waheeda. 2006. “Overcoming the Conflict Between the Right to Freedom of Religion and Women’s Rights to Equality: A South African Case Study of Muslim Marriages.” Johns Hopkins University Press 28: 729-54.

Author: Waheeda Amien

Abstract:

This article provides an overview of the South African law reform process regarding the legal recognition of Muslim marriages in the context of South Africa's constitutional commitments. With reference to the proposed draft legislation, it explores the conflict between the right to freedom of religion and women's rights to equality that arises as a result of the proposed recognition. Despite the conflict, it is argued that legal recognition of Muslim marriages is necessary for the protection of women's rights. After considering the ways in which the conflict has been dealt with at legislative and judicial levels, suggestions are offered to overcome the conflict so that women's rights to equality are not compromised.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions, Justice, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2006

Gender and the Constitution: Equity and Agency in Comparative Constitutional Design

Citation:

Irving, Helen. 2008. Gender and the Constitution: Equity and Agency in Comparative Constitutional Design. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Helen Irving

Abstract:

We live in an era of constitution-making. New constitutions are appearing in historically unprecedented numbers, following regime change in some countries, or a commitment to modernization in others. No democratic constitution today can fail to recognize or provide for gender equality. Constitution-makers need to understand the gendered character of all constitutions, and to recognize the differential impact on women of constitutional provisions, even where these appear gender-neutral. This book confronts what needs to be considered in writing a constitution when gender equity and agency are goals. It examines principles of constitutionalism, constitutional jurisprudence, and history. Its goal is to establish a framework for a "gender audit" of both new and existing constitutions. It eschews a simple focus on rights and examines constitutional language, interpretation, structures and distribution of power, rules of citizenship, processes of representation, and the constitutional recognition of international and customary law. It discusses equality rights and reproductive rights as distinct issues for constitutional design.

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Governance, Constitutions, International Law, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2008

Envisioning a U.S. Government That Isn’t 84% Male: What the United States Can Learn from Sweden, Rwanda, Burundi, and Other Nations

Citation:

Millar, Nancy. 2007. “Envisioning a U.S. Government That Isn’t 84% Male: What the United States Can Learn from Sweden, Rwanda, Burundi, and Other Nations.” University of Miami Law Review 62 (1): 129–56.

Author: Nancy Millar

Topics: Gender, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, Political Participation Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2007

Integrating or Setting the Agenda? Gender Mainstreaming in the European Constitution-Making Process

Citation:

Lombardo, Emanuela. 2005. “Integrating or Setting the Agenda? Gender Mainstreaming in the European Constitution-Making Process.” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State Society 12 (3): 412–32.

Author: Emanuela Lombardo

Abstract:

The European Union (EU) constitution-making process has adopted an "integrating" rather than an "agenda-setting" approach to gender mainstreaming. This argument draws on analysis of both the European Constitutional Convention and its product--the Constitutional Treaty. Five indicators of application of mainstreaming serve as reference points for exploring how it has been applied in the EU Constitutional Convention: a broader concept of gender equality, the incorporation of a gender perspective into the mainstream, equal representation of women, the prioritization of gender policy objectives, and a shift in institutional and organizational culture. The article provides a tentative explanation for the failure of the EU constitution-making process to adopt an "agenda-setting" approach to gender mainstreaming.

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions, International Organizations Regions: Europe

Year: 2005

Gender and Neoliberal States: Feminists Remake the Nation in Ecuador

Citation:

Lind, Amy. 2003. “Gender and Neoliberal States: Feminists Remake the Nation in Ecuador.” Latin American Perspectives 30 (1): 181–207.

Author: Amy Lind

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Poverty, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Governance, Constitutions, Nationalism, NGOs Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2003

Striking the Rock: Confronting Gender Equality in South Africa

Citation:

Andrews, Penelope E. 1998. “Striking the Rock: Confronting Gender Equality in South Africa.” Michigan Journal of Race & Law 3 (2): 307–39.

Author: Penelope E. Andrews

Abstract:

This article analyzes the status of women’s rights in the newly democratic South Africa by examining rights guaranteed in the Constitution and possible conflicts between the principle of gender equality and the recognition of indigenous law and institutions. It focuses on the South African transition to democracy and the influence that feminist agitation at the international level has had on women’s organizational attempts within South Africa. An investigation is made into the historic position of customary law in South Africa and questions are raised about its place in the new democratic dispensation. The article suggests that, although South African women have benefited from the global feminist endeavor, they have indigenized the shape and substance of women’s rights to accommodate conditions peculiar to South Africa. Andrews concludes that only in balancing respect for indigenous culture and the ultimate goal of eradication of all forms of sexism will women in South Africa make headway in their quest for rights.

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1998

From Gender Apartheid to Non-Sexism: The Pursuit of Women’s Rights in South Africa

Citation:

Andrews, Penelope E. 2001. “From Gender Apartheid to Non-Sexism: The Pursuit of Women’s Rights in South Africa.” North Carolina Journal of International Law & Commercial Regulation 26 (3): 693–722.

Author: Penelope E. Andrews

Abstract:

This article discusses the quest for women's rights in South Africa and how the transition from apartheid to democracy led to a commitment to gender equality as incorporated in South Africa's transitional and final Constitutions. In this endeavor, it refers to the organizational attempts by women prior to and during the constitutional drafting process to ensure that the new Constitution embodied the aspirations and reflected the struggles for women's rights by women activists in South Africa. This article is divided into six sections. Section Two describes the legacy of apartheid for all women in South Africa. This investigation is appropriate because the legacy of apartheid will bear significantly on the status and lives of women for a long time. This section shows how the laws and policies of apartheid were comprehensive, not only in enforcing rigid racial segregation, but also in racializing gender. Section Three focuses on the Constitution and outlines the myriad of ways this document details comprehensive rights for women both in the public and the private spheres. This section demonstrates how the South African Constitution, in particular its section on equality, has been described as one of the most impressive human rights documents of the twentieth century. Specifically, the Constitution details rights expansively and comprehensively, while its inclusion of sweeping rights for women satisfies South Africa's international legal obligations. Section Four of this article focuses on two cases regarding women's rights decided by the Constitutional Court, arguing that South Africa's evolving constitutional jurisprudence demonstrates a deep commitment by the highest courts to eradicate odious discrimination against women. Section Five analyzes the lobbying efforts of women's organizations during the transitional period to ensure that women's rights were incorporated into the new Constitution. In addition, this section analyzes how these lobbying efforts resulted in significant formal gains as reflected in the Constitution. This article concludes by assessing some of the remaining obstacles to attaining women's equality despite the significant advancements made thus far. (Introduction)

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2001

Evaluating the Progress of Women’s Rights on the Fifth Anniversary of the South African Constitution

Citation:

Andrews, Penelope E. 2007. “Evaluating the Progress of Women’s Rights on the Fifth Anniversary of the South African Constitution.” Vermont Law Review 26 (4): 829–36.

Author: Penelope E. Andrews

Abstract:

This article discusses the quest for women's rights in South Africa and how the transition from apartheid to democracy led to a commitment to gender equality as incorporated in South Africa's transitional and final Constitutions.' In this endeavor, it refers to the organizational attempts by women prior to and during the constitutional drafting process to ensure that the new Constitution embodied the aspirations and reflected the struggles for women's rights by women activists in South Africa. This article is divided into six sections. Section Two describes the legacy of apartheid for all women in South Africa.' This investigation is appropriate because the legacy of apartheid will bear significantly on the status and lives of women for a long time. This section shows how the laws and policies of apartheid were comprehensive, not only in enforcing rigid racial segregation, but also in racializing gender.' Section Three focuses on the Constitution and outlines the myriad of ways this document details comprehensive rights for women both in the public and the private spheres. This section demonstrates how the South African Constitution, in particular its section on equality, has been described as one of the most impressive human rights documents of the twentieth century. Specifically, the Constitution details rights expansively and comprehensively, while its inclusion of sweeping rights for women satisfies South Africa's international legal obligations. Section Four of this article focuses on two cases regarding women's rights decided by the Constitutional Court, arguing that South Africa's evolving constitutional jurisprudence demonstrates a deep commitment by the highest courts to eradicate odious discrimination against women. Section Five analyzes the lobbying efforts of women's organizations during the transitional period to ensure that women's rights were incorporated into the new Constitution. In addition, this section analyzes how these lobbying efforts resulted in significant formal gains as reflected in the Constitution. This article concludes by assessing some of the remaining obstacles to attaining women's equality despite the significant advancements made thus far.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions, Post-conflict Governance, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2007

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