The Human Rights Regime: A Critique of ‘Universality’ in a Patriarchal World

The Journal of International Relations, Peace Studies, and Development, Oct 2016

The international human rights regime can be traced to the embodiment of human rights provisions in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sixty years ago. The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an opportunity to remind ourselves that the task of securing universal human rights is not over; it has merely begun. Human rights cannot be universal without human rights for women. Since human right’s of women are still in jeopardy, we need to continue our efforts to move the human rights discourse for women from rhetoric to reality.

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The Human Rights Regime: A Critique of ‘Universality’ in a Patriarchal World

e Journal of International Relations u m an Rights Regim e: 'U niversality' in a Patriarchal A Critique W orld of Studies 0 Development 0 0 The Journal of International Relations, Peace and Development Studies A publication by Arcadia University and the American Graduate School in Paris of - H Patriarchal A Critique W orld of Reprinted from: Crimes Against Women (Women’s Issues), ISBN: 978-1-61668-480-8, The Human Rights Regime: A Critique of ‘Universality’ in a Patriarchal World, Chapter 2, pp23-33, (2011), Ruchi Anand. (With permission from Nova Science Publishers, Inc.) The Human Rights Regime: A Critique of ‘Universality’ in a Patriarchal World Ruchi Anand Violence against women and girls continues unabated in every continent, country and culture. It takes a devastating toll on women’s lives, on their families, and on society as a whole. Most societies prohibit such violence — yet the reality is that too often, it is covered up or tacitly condoned. — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, 8 March 2007i I. Introduction The international human rights regime can be traced to the embodiment of human rights provisions in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sixty years ago. The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an opportunity to remind ourselves that the task of securing universal human rights is not over; it has merely begun. Human rights cannot be universal without human rights for women. Since human right’s of women are still in jeopardy, we need to continue our efforts to move the human rights discourse for women from rhetoric to reality. Women, the world over, still suffer disproportionately from stark violations of their human rights. Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) enshrines principles of equality, justice, and fairness irrespective of distinction of any kind including sex, these are yet to be fully translated into reality. Several developments ever since 1948 mark the progress in the field of women’s human rights a reality. Some milestones areii: International Conference on Human Rights, Teheran (1968),iii First UN World Conference on Women, Mexico City (1975),iv the United Nations International Decade for Women (1976-1985),v CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979),vi Second World Conference on Women, Copenhagen (1980),vii Third World Conference on Women, Nairobi (1985), Safe Motherhood Conference, Nairobi (1987), UN International Conference on Human Rights, Vienna (1993),viii United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing (1995),ix Millennium Declaration and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), New York (2000), x Commission on the Status of Women 10-Year Review and Appraisal, New York (2005).xi At the 2005 meeting, it was established that although some improvements had been made towards protecting the human rights of women, the overall condition of women’s human rights abuses are still deplorable. Millions of women all over the world continue to live in conditions of abject deprivation of their fundamental human rights for no other reason than that they are women. The pandemic proportions of violence against women are shocking. Examples of these types of crimes against women are innumerable and deplorable. Rape as a weapon of war is used by combatants in conflicts (i.e. Sierra Leone, Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Rwanda), women are physically beaten in their homes at astounding rates (e.g. Pakistan, South Africa, Peru, Russia, and Uzbekistan), women are bought and sold, trafficked and forced into prostitution (e.g. Ukraine, Moldova, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, Burma, and Thailand), women face governmentsponsored discrimination that renders them unequal before law (e.g. Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia), women and girls are forced to marry, women in prisons face sexual assault by their jailers, women’s sexual freedoms are curtailed by strict familial and cultural sanctions including beating, stoning, acid attacks, death (e.g. N. Africa, W. Asia, S. Asia), women's access to their own bodies in terms of reproductive choices have been constrained, millions of girls are declared "missing" owing to sex-selective abortions or infanticide.xii These are merely the tip of the iceberg. This global epidemic against women’s human rights makes us question where international law fits within women’s experience, and whom the system serves and protects. Apparently, women and girls suffer disproportionately from violence, be it in peace or war, at the hands of the state, the community and the family. The invisibility of the costs of gender-based violence coupled with the cultural acceptances of violence against women makes it pervasive and even systemic in nature. Section 2 highlights some feminist critiques of international law based on a historical, theoretical assessment of women’s human rights up until the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Section 3 emphasizes aspects of the CEDAW that seek to remedy some of the loopholes of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Concluding Section will re-ignite the debate surrounding the violations of women’s human rights today, sixty years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was instated. It will question whether the international legal mechanism, without stringent enforcement capabilities, presents solutions to the violations against women’s human rights. What alternatives exist other than trying to fight a losing battle against the institution of patriarchy? II. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Feminist Critique Over time, there has been a moral recognition of the need for the international codification and monitoring of women’s human rights.xiii Women have been active participants in the struggle for human rights, i.e. in wartime resistance, anti-colonial struggles, anti-authoritarian struggles. However, since the concept and language of rights has its origins in the liberal political tradition that focuses primarily on the public activities of male citizens, women’s issues had received limited recognition in major legal documents. These historic legal documents include the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was the precursor to the American Declaration of Independence of 1776, the American Declaration’s Bill of Rights of 1789, the French Declaration (Déclaration des Droits de l'homme et du citoyen) of 1789, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, all defining human rights claims.xiv These and other such documents draw from John Locke’s natural rights theory, which characterized individual prerogatives as ‘political and civil freedom to be guaranteed, by the state.’xv These declaratory documents impose some non-binding obligations on states to work towards safeguarding these claims. The problem with the Lockean natural rights theory is that it assumes that each individual is an autonomous being, disregarding the significance of social, political and economic contexts of each individual as also his or her race, class and gender. Another problem is that it ‘locates all power within the state, which must either be constrained from interfering in individual lives or create legislation to ensure individual freedom.’xvi Although this theory provides the basis of contemporary law on rights, it does not recognize that each individual’s relationship with his/her family, culture, religion, ethnicity etc may be a source of oppression too, jeopardizing the individual freedom guaranteed by the state. By ignoring the possibility of violation of rights in the context of family and culture and religion, the Lockean theory establishes a dangerous dichotomy between the ‘public’ and ‘private’ spheres that human rights protagonists for women have treated sceptically.xvii Often, the perspective of the human rights of women (just like those of particular races, classes or ethnic groups) are constrained by the over disciplined constructionsxviii of these oppressed groups’ states and cultures.xix A growing segment of the international women’s rights movement argued for the need to make human rights abuses against women, especially the gender-specific ones that occur primarily in the private sphere, more visible.xx Their main contention was that redress of the injustice, grievance and deprivation experienced by women solely because of their gender, has not been adequately accomplished by the international law of human rights. Human rights theorists attempted to analyse the reasons for the ineffective universal regime of human rights in addressing specific violations of women’s rights. K. Booth, for example, argued that three tyrannies, namely the tyranny of the present tense, cultural essentialism and scientific objectivity, ‘imprison human rights potentialities in a static, particularistic and regressive discourse, reproducing prevailing patterns of power rather than the reinvention of the politics of human possibility.’xxi For change towards a progressive human rights regime that addresses specific women and minority rights, there is a need for the elimination of these three tyrannies. The tyrannies of the present tense are the generalizations that arise out of a particular historical moment leading to constrained political imagination. This kind of tyranny is communitarian and majoritarian in nature and focuses on the dominant ideology of the time – patriarchy for instance. Patriarchy defined by Gerda Lerner, is as follows: Patriarchy in its wider definition means the manifestation and institutionalization of male dominance over women and children in the family and the extension of male dominance over women in society in general. It implies that men hold power in allimportant institutions of society and that women are deprived of access to such power. It does not imply that women are either totally powerless or totally deprived of rights, influence and resources.xxii Patriarchy is an institutionalised system of male dominance that gradually creates a structuralized network through which women are the major victims. One of the controlling devices of patriarchy is the public-private dichotomy. The distinction between public/private lives in international law is one of the principal theoretical barriers’ to adequately addressing women’s human rights.xxiii The publicprivate dichotomy at the level of the state (women: private; men: public) and international law (domestic law: private; international law: public) distinction leaves women’s lives outside the scope of legal redress.xxiv This makes women’s lives stand outside the scope of international law, and also outside the scope of national law. As a result, “women’s lives are treated as being within a doubly private sphere, far from the concerns of the international legal order.”xxv There are, therefore, two levels of the public-private dichotomy, which helps us to explain why we argue that women are marginalized from mainstream international legal discourse. The one level of the publicprivate dichotomy is based on gender. This dichotomy can, to a large extent, explain the dynamics behind male dominance in the areas of power and authority, i.e. the public arena. The domain of law, economics, politics, the workplace, and intellectual life are regarded as the ‘public’ realm and as the natural province of men. The home and children are stereotypically viewed as the domain of women. What is problematic is the asymmetrical value that is given to the public (male domain) as compared to the private (female domain). The naturalness of this dichotomy is based on some deeply embedded beliefs about gender and gender roles in society the world over. The public-private dichotomy confers primacy on the male world and undermines the role of women in spheres traditionally constructed as ‘public.’ Celina Romany contends, ‘the public/private distinction continues to be a manifestation of legal privilege that dispenses licenses along gender lines.’xxvi In Donna Sullivan’s voice, These three factors – the state centred nature of international law, the dominance of civil and political rights discourse, and deference to the institution of the family – account for much of the emphasis placed on direct violations of civil and political rights by the state and corresponding neglect of gender-specific abuses in private life. The challenge is not to shift the focus away from gross violations of civil and political rights by the state but, first, to broaden the normative framework to include the abuses suffered by women that do not fit this paradigm because they occur at the hands of ‘private’ individuals; and then to develop effective international monitoring and implementation mechanisms in this area. The distinction in international law is one of the principal theoretical barriers to this effort.xxvii Rights for women must be situated in ‘the experiences of women rather than men,’ challenging the patriarchal structures that ignore many social practices which fall in the domain of the ‘private,’ i.e. sexuality, reproduction, sex-based violence etc.xxviii The purpose of the state’s laws and practices must serve feminist goals in order to achieve human rights for women. By this standard, those states would be called feminist that, through their laws, empower women to resist sex-based dominance and to exert their claims against male power in all spheres, both public and private.xxix The tyrannies of cultural essentialism come from perpetuated values, structures and traditions that propagate the conservative power interests emerging from religion or culture or tradition, marginalizing many people and interests at the global and local levels. For instance, traditionalist practices for the most part are based on masculine values, often hostile to women. Yoko Ono refers to women as ‘the niggers of the world,’ owing to the marginalization they have faced irrespective of their race, class, sexual orientation, culture and nationality.xxx Napoleon’s law actually typified women as ‘lifelong, irresponsible minors.’xxxi This was probably owing to the history of patriarchal subordination. Women were perceived as, and still are in many parts of the world, the property of their husbands (and before marriage, of their fathers and brothers). Men then, particularly husbands, considered themselves in charge of the legal and social responsibility of their wife’s actions. As such, women were required to obey their husbands (and other men in the family), even at the expense of self-deprivation and denial. Their place was considered to be at home and not in the ‘public.’xxxii These trends are still visible in many cultures. The tyrannies of scientific objectivity, as the third impediment to progressive politics, imply that science under the garb of being value-free, objective and apolitical is a means to perpetuate the status quo. Booth argues that any idea that attempts at universality, i.e. science, has the potential of being not only totalitarian and dangerous but also utopian. Universality, be it of human rights or any other issue, is a flawed assumption because there are no universal values.xxxiii For example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) states that: "No one shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." One can assume that this covers violence against women, i.e. rape, sexual terrorism and domestic violence, but the gender-neutral vocabulary puts the onus on the women victims of gender-based inhumane treatment to ‘fit’ into the description. The egalitarian premise of the Universal Declaration can in fact be detrimental to the protection of women’s human rights. The human rights of women may not be ‘universal’ after all, since women’s human rights often have culture- specific definitions of what constitutes human rights of women vis-à-vis their status in society. Commonalities across the globe are striking, since the universal law is that of patriarchy but culture-specific social standing of women may differ widely across the world. Katrina Tomasevski contends that gender-neutrality in law making can have discriminatory effects on women because the equal treatment of people in unequal situations ‘perpetuates rather than challenges discrimination.’ Therefore, the eradication of gender discrimination necessitates “a recognition of the discriminatory heritage and action to remedy its effects and to establish safeguards against its perpetuation.”xxxiv Rebecca Cook reiterates Tomasevski’s argument by asserting: “The model (for the protection of human rights) uses a male standard of equality and renders women copies of their male counterparts. Thus women are forced to argue either that they are the same as men and should be treated the same, that they are different but should be treated as they were the same, or that they are different and should be accorded special treatment. The model does not allow for questioning the ways in which laws, cultures, or religious traditions have constructed and maintained the disadvantage of women, or to the extent to which the institutions are male defined and built on male conceptions of challenges and harms.”xxxv The ‘sameness of treatment’ approach puts women at a disadvantage and distances their claims of specific gender-related crimes to ‘invisibility’ when the urgent need is ‘visibility.’ According to Mahoney, “By structuring equality around the male comparator, the assumption is made that equality exists and that from time to time, individuals will be discriminated against. The persistent disadvantage women suffer across the board because of societal biases is obscured.”xxxvi The question then becomes ‘how can international human rights law support and deliver substantive equality?’ Charlesworth, contends that, “[t]he search for universal, abstract, hierarchical standards is often associated with masculine modes of thinking... Women are relegated to the periphery of communal values.”xxxvii Language is another issue that lends to gender evaluation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since it is not always objective nor value free. In Edward Broadbent’s words, The language of human rights is powerful. It carries great moral authority, and is having an increasing impact on the people’s and the states of the world. If it is, however, to aspire to true universality, it must deal not only with different expectations and realities of North and South, East and West, but also different experiences of women and men. We must make the language of human rights relevant to women’s lives.xxxviii The language of universal human rights that is used is specifically geared towards ‘men’ and is not ‘universal.’ Although the documentation of human rights, as exists today, does spell out various civil and political rights, it does not specifically address the social and economic rights of women. These rights need protection in a patriarchal world that renders women subject to certain kinds of restrictions solely as a consequence of their gender. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for instance, lays down certain fundamental human rights, subject only to restrictions set forth by certain fundamental duties.xxxix Some of the rights, that the Declaration enlists, are freedom, equality, dignity, life, liberty, property, marriage, movement, asylum, free choice of employment, peaceful assembly, equal pay, rest and leisure, adequate standard of living, protection from servitude, slavery, torture, cruelty, arbitrary arrest from the state and society. Article 1 of the Human Rights Declaration reads, ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.xl The use of the term ‘brotherhood’ in Article 1 is not very surprising, considering that it is followed by a Preamble which speaks of the ‘conscience of mankind’ being outraged by human rights violations. It reads, ‘It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.’xli At the level of the State, each country has some norms governing the protection or violations of human rights. For example, the United States of America has the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.xlii Ironically, this document is applicable to both men and women of the United States of America. The preamble of this document reads, All men are born free and equal, in dignity and in rights, and being endowed by nature with reason and conscience, they should conduct themselves as brothers one to another... Rights and duties are interrelated in every social and political activity of man... And since moral conduct constitutes the noblest flowering of culture, it is the duty of every man to hold it in high respect.xliii Such male-centred language in legal documentation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not a mere folly of documentation and gender-neutrality but an instrument of sex-discrimination, which has its roots in the male-dominated legal structures at the national and international levels. Women have not had the opportunity to enjoy the rights and liberties on an equal footing as men, as they are entitled to, supposedly, by virtue of their being ‘human.’ In the field of human rights, which is simply a reflection of the patriarchal traditions that govern states, societies and families, being ‘human and man’ is not quite the same as being ‘human and woman.’ This is apparent in the differential recognition, treatment, and recourse that men and women get in response to their claims of violations of their rights. According to Charlotte Bunch, “the narrow definition of human rights, recognized by many in the West as solely a matter of state violation of civil and political liberties, impedes consideration of ‘women’s rights.”xliv Corrective language, as opposed to gender-neutral language, allows for woman-centred solutions, without reference to male action.xlv Steps in the Right Direction: CEDAW CEDAW departs from the general human rights instruments that address 'sex-based discrimination' in neutral terms, by naming women as the group disadvantaged from sex-based discrimination. Instead it foregrounds the social and cultural underpinnings of such discrimination thereby extending the application of human rights to the private sphere for women, and more importantly, highlighting the connection of the public sphere with the private sphere. The inequality of women within the family, the workplace and in public life derives its ideological basis from the social construction of women's capabilities and roles. The journey from the neutral to the specific and from the public to the private was not easy, but a slow and strongly contested struggle.xlvi CEDAW (The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) attempted to remedy the shortcomings of the human rights regime of its predecessors. Gender equality is clearly articulated as a goal in the context of sex-based discrimination. The State obligations imposed by CEDAW are those that attempt to eliminate the many different forms of gender-based discrimination women face. CEDAW adopts the “substantive equality” or “equality of results” model implying that CEDAW goes beyond appraising equality in formal and legalistic terms, but rather in terms of their impact on the rights and lives of women. Under CEDAW, the State must demonstrate that its policies allow women to experience equality instead of simply demonstrating that there are no laws that discriminate against women. Under CEDAW, States are not only responsible to show that they are fostering gender equality but are also responsible for discrimination perpetrated by individuals and organizations. CEDAW clearly appreciates that efforts to achieve gender equality have to address changes at the ‘private’ sphere of politics – in culture, the family, and interpersonal relations.xlvii CEDAW articles explain the nature and scope of State’s obligations, discusses specific forms of discrimination with recommendations for State’s and rules that govern procedural and administrative matters. CEDAW discusses issues such as trafficking and the exploitation of prostitution, public and political life, international affairs, nationality, education, employment, health care, economic and social life, rural women, equality before the law, and equality in marriage and family life.xlviii A treaty body oversees CEDAW. 23 gender equality experts compose the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. State- parties to CEDAW elect this committee. However, once its members are elected, they are to operate independently of their countries. Regionally representative, the Committee Members at present are from Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, and Thailand. xlix Quite simply CEDAW acknowledges that gender equality is a human right. Once gender equality is understood as a human right it needs no additional justification, and the legitimacy of work to advance gender equality does not depend on proving its usefulness for other purposes, such as those of development, or economic growth.l Other gender-related highlights of CEDAW are: • The principle of indivisibility oh human rights, i.e. there is no hierarchy among human rights; • The acceptance of the equal status of all human rights; • The acknowledgement of the interdependent and interrelated nature of human rights; • The acceptance that equality and non-discrimination are two sides of the same coin; • The political empowerment of women through participation & inclusion • The integration of women’s human rights into national constitutions. CEDAW explicitly states that the responsibilities to protect human rights of women extend to private life as well as public life. In this sense, it tries to overcome the public-private dichotomy that had distanced women’s human rights violations (in the ‘private’ sphere) from visibility. li Conclusion CEDAW (1979) represented only a small step towards the humongous goal of establishing and securing women’s rights as human rights. The Vienna Declaration and the Programme for Action (1993) was the first of its kind to accept women's human rights as "inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights" that "should form an integral part of the United Nations human rights activities."lii Each step in the struggle for achieving the task of accepting and implementing women’s rights as human rights has been difficult, cumbersome and full of obstacles. Why is it such a difficult task to establish women as human? Why is it so difficult for women to be treated as equal? Why is it so difficult for women’s concerns to be heard? A part of the answer may lie in concerns of the implementation of existing standards laid down by national and international laws. The more formidable task is to fight the battle against patriarchy for which we have to remember with caution Audre Lorde words, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”liii Ruchi Anand is an Indian-born academic, author of Self Defense in International Relations (New York: Palgrave MacMillan 2009) and International Environmental Justice: A North-South Dimension (Aldershot, Hants, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate 2003) among other works. She is a professor of International Relations at the American Graduate School in Paris where she teaches courses on international relations, gender studies and environmental politics, and co-teaches a course on NGO management. She also regularly teaches courses through the Junior Statesmen of America summer programs at Princeton University, Stanford University and Georgetown University. Endnotes Rights Law," in Women's Rights Human Rights: International Feminist Perspective eds. Julie Peters and Andrea Wolper, 126-134 (London: Routledge, 1995), p. 128. xxv Charlesworth, Hilary and Chinkin, Christine (1993). The Gender of Jus Cogens. Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 15, February, pp. 63-76, 74. xxvi Celina Romany (1994). In Rebecca J. Cook (ed.), Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, p. 90. xxvii Donna Sullivan (1995), "The Public/Private Distinction in International Human Rights Law," in Women's Rights Human Rights: International Feminist Perspective eds. Julie Peters and Andrea Wolper, 126-134 (London: Routledge, 1995), p. 128. xxviii Stetson, Dorothy McBride (1995). Human Rights for Women: International Compliance With a Feminist Standard. Women and Politics, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 71-95. xxix Stetson, Dorothy McBride (1995). Human Rights for Women: International Compliance With a Feminist Standard. Women and Politics, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 71-95, p.73. xxx Booth, K. (1999) ‘Three tyrannies’, in T. Dunne & N. Wheeler (eds) Human Rights in Global Politics, Cambridge: CUP, pp.31-70., 39 xxxi Celina Romany (1994). In Rebecca J. Cook (ed.), Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 95 xxxii Celina Romany (1994). In Rebecca J. Cook (ed.), Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 95 xxxiii Booth, K. (1999) ‘Three tyrannies’, in T. Dunne & N. Wheeler (eds) Human Rights in Global Politics, Cambridge: CUP, pp.31-70. xxxiv Tomasavski, Katrina (1993). Women and Human Rights. London: Atlantic Highlands; NJ: Zed Books Women and World Development Series, xiii. xxxv Cook, Rebecca J. ( 1993). Women's International Human Rights Law: The Way Forward, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 15, May, pp. 230-61, p. 239. xxxvi Kathleen E. Mahoney (1994). In Rebecca J. Cook (ed.), Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, p. 239. xxxvii Charlesworth, Hilary and Chinkin, Christine (1993). The Gender of Jus Cogens. Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 15, February, pp. 63-76, p. 67. xxxviii Broadbent, Edward. (1993) Getting Rid of Male Bias. In Ours by Right: Women's Rights as Human Rights, edited by Joanna Kerr. Atlantic Highlands, NY Kerr, Joanna (Ed.) (1993). London; Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Zed Books; Ottawa, N-S Institute, p. 12. xxxix Weston, Falk, and D'Amato. 1990. Basic Documents in International Law and World Order. 2d Edition. West Publishing Co., p. 298. xl Weston, Falk, and D'Amato. 1990. Basic Documents in International Law and World Order. 2d Edition. West Publishing Co., p. 298. xli Weston, Falk, and D'Amato. 1990. Basic Documents in International Law and World Order. 2d Edition. West Publishing Co.p. 298. xlii Weston, Falk, and D'Amato. 1990. Basic Documents in International Law and World Order. 2d Edition. West Publishing Co. p. 293. xliii Weston, Falk, and D'Amato. 1990. Basic Documents in International Law and World Order. 2d Edition. West Publishing Co. p. 293. xliv Bunch, Charlotte (1990) Women's Rights as Human Rights: Toward a Re-Vision of Human Rights. Human Rights Quarterly 12(4):486-498, p. 488. xlv Gender bias is not the only problem associated with a universally drawn out Human rights convention. Similar problematics arise for people situated in different races, classes, cultures and ethnicities. xlvi UNIFEM (South Asia Regional Office) 2004. CEDAW: Restoring Rights to Women. New Delhi; p. 17. http://www.unifem.org.in/cedaw.html. xlvii UNIFEM (May 2007). CEDAW and the Human Rights Based Approach to Programming: A UNIFEM Guide. Written by Lee Waldorf, with research by Christine Arab and Menaka Guruswamy. www.unifem.org/attachments/products/CEDAW_HRBA_guide_pt1_eng.pdf xlviii ibid. pp. 8-9. xlix Ibid. l ibid. p. 13. li Ibid. Pp. 28-37. http://www.unhchr.ch/huridocda/huridoca.nsf/(Symbol)/A.CONF.157.23.En?OpenDocument liii Audre Lorde (1984). Sister Outsider, The Crossing Press Feminist Series.


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Ruchi Anand. The Human Rights Regime: A Critique of ‘Universality’ in a Patriarchal World, The Journal of International Relations, Peace Studies, and Development, 2016,