Gender, Sexuality, and the Law

1st Edition

Debra L. DeLaet, Renée Ann Cramer

Published April 9, 2019
Reference - 190 Pages
ISBN 9780367219239 - CAT# K421145

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This volume examines the role of law as a tool for advancing women’s rights and gender equity in local, national, and global contexts.

Many feminist scholars note a marked failure of law to achieve goals connected to women’s rights and gender equality. Despite its limitations, law provides aspirational norms that can be mobilized to hold institutions accountable and to provide material benefit to those excluded from systems of power. In conversation with each other, the chapters in this volume help to advance understanding of both the limitations and the potential of law as a tool for advancing democratic participation, rights, and justice around issues related to gender and sexuality. Contributors acknowledge, to varying degrees, that law has important symbolism and may be used as a lever to mobilize change. At the same time, some offer cautionary notes about the potential downside risks and unintended consequences of relying upon law in pursuit of women’s rights and gender equity.

Collectively, the chapters in this volume explore the disjuncture between the promise and expectation of legal reform and the lived experience of those laws by people intended as the beneficiaries of legal change. This book was originally published as a special issue of Global Discourse.

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