Gender and Justice in International Human Rights Law: The Need for an Intersectional Feminist Approach to Advance Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Smyth, Rebecca (2020) Gender and Justice in International Human Rights Law: The Need for an Intersectional Feminist Approach to Advance Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. In: Gender Justice and the Law: Theoretical Practices of Intersectional Identity. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781683932390

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Abstract

While the concept of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHRs) has grown in legitimacy at the regional and international levels of the human rights system in recent decades, it continues to face significant challenges. Not least among these is that liberal, masculinist understandings of human rights continue to inform and limit the legal reasoning of the UN, inter-American and European human rights systems, often inadvertently perpetuating the very stereotypes of the female legal subject that they need to challenge in order to prevent violations of women’s human rights. As a result of these problematic conceptual underpinnings, these institutions often take an inconsistent, flawed approach to cases that do not fit comfortably into androcentric understandings of rights violations. This chapter will provide an overview of the origins and evolution of SRHRs, emphasising the centrality of intersectional, transnational feminist activism to its development. It will then undertake a close reading of sample cases from the UN treaty monitoring bodies, inter-American system and European system to highlight the limits of the current approach, and in doing so will propose an alternative, explicitly intersectional feminist approach to legal reasoning that can contribute to jurisprudence that better represents and responds to the lived experiences, needs and realities of women and gender-diverse people, and that better aligns with the original understanding of SRHRs articulated by feminist activists.

Item Type: Book Section
Date: 1 November 2020
Subjects: M200 Law by Topic
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Rebecca Smyth
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2021 12:58
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2021 12:58
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12036

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