Since the late 1990s, development institutions have increasingly
used the language of rights in their policy and practice. This
special issue on feminist perspectives on politics of rights
explores the strategies, tensions and challenges associated with
rights work' in a variety of settings.
Articles on the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, East and
South Asia explore the dilemmas that arise for feminist praxis in
these diverse locations, and address the question of what rights
can contribute to struggles for gender justice. Exploring the
intersection of formal rights - whether international human rights
conventions, constitutional rights or national legislation - with
the everyday realities of women in settings characterized by
entrenched gender inequalities and poverty, plural legal systems
and cultural norms that can constitute formidable obstacles to
realizing rights. The contributors suggest that these sites of
struggle can create new possibilities and meanings - and a politics
of rights animated by demands for social and gender justice.
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