AN341 Lecture Notes - Freedom From Torture, Economic Globalization, Cultural Imperialism
L25 March 11, 2013
Violence Against Women, Continued
o Ideological – gender based ideas, beliefs, values that underlie practices
Eg, typically male siblings need to protect and control their sisters
Roles are changing (women are working now and some men don‟t
know how to react to it)
These ideologies need to change!
o Patriarchal Families: private space controlled by males; patriarchy couched as
„protection of females‟
Eg. In many families where the women are the breadwinners the man
will still be seen as the head of the household. Man can have 0 income
but the woman will still have to ask permission to buy something (with
the money she earned)
o Political – (sex/gender/class/nationalistic politics; transnational, racial,
immigrant contexts, reactions to westernization)
Affects their identity
Eg. Immigrants are economically and racially marginalized – women
are doubly so
o Economic – globalization, free markets, women‟s work, economic and job
insecurities for men
Progressive impact on women‟s work
More and more women are being employed globally because woman
are more passive, can work longer hours, work hard, more mundane
tasks, cheap labour
Mostly in factories and IT
This is very common in Papua New Guinea
o Popular Culture: sexualisation of women in popular media
TV, pornography, advertisements, etc.
o Social Changes: female education, changes in family size
Acid attacks are often happening because women are going to schools
Challenging gender roles in the household
There is a correlation between female literacy/education and smaller
families and gender transformation
Gender transformation: women want more decision power, etc.
Female reproductive roles are changing (women are deciding how
many kids they want to have, etc.)
o Gender – shifts in gender roles and relations – “crisis of masculinity”
Response to VAW
o Expansion of the concept of gender violence
o Legal approaches at state levels (where there are laws and services)
Many women around the world want a woman legal system because
legal systems are often biased towards men
o Debated in public
o Women take up the struggle at national, grass-roots levels
L25 March 11, 2013
o Right Based Approach: Rights of the Child: of Women; Freedom From
Torture: Right to Health and bodily Integrity
FGC as Human Rights
o 1. FGC as Health Issue (Right to Health and Bodily Integrity – Art. 15 of UN
Resolution on Human Rights).
Some reasons for FGC:
To protect women from assault
To “cure” hysteria and promiscuous behaviour
Risk factors, harm
Not much can be done about this because there are many other
surgeries that are harmful that people still do; also many
parents do things for their children (not taking them to the
Mutilation means doing it purposely; now it is called cutting to
show that it can be done as a choice
Education about risks
Problems led to abandonment after 1990s
Human Rights Approach
Imposition of western idea, cultural imperialism
Against multiculturalism and diversity
Rights of Children: don‟t parents have rights (best interests of child
may be served)
Right of passage
Often FGC is required for marriage so by parents doing this to
their daughters they are allowing their daughters to get married
Rights of Women as: autonomous agents, choice makers
Women educating other women about it
There are now symbolic circumcisions rather than doing the
real cutting in some places
o Eg. Sri Lanka
Finding alternatives as a right of passage
Prof: “main support is economic independence for women”
o If women don‟t need money through marriage maybe
the FGC won‟t be so important
Wednesday March 13, 2013
Gender Law and the State
- systems of interconnected parts and patters
- permeates all institutions
L25 March 11, 2013
- ideological level, state/citizenship, legal, institutions, laws, kinship, work etc.
o when we talk about state, it means we are citizens of the state.
o Some states can be ultra conservative, practices can be very gender
unequal where other states can be more liberal.
o There are laws that entrench gender inequalities and then there are other
laws that done
o Kinship can also entrench gender inequalities- depending on the descent
- Women‟s resistance takes place at several levels.
- Challenges: Balancing kinship/rights; community/culture and rights, lack of
o A lot of rights come from your community and culture but then you also
have your own rights as an individual so how do you balance the two.
o Those that experience gender inequalities they don‟t have the resources
(money) to do something about it.
But if they do have the resources they may be alienated from their
family if they do do something about it.
- State Patriarchy
o Can be repressive or liberal
- Laws‟ patriarchy
o The patriarchy of laws, where laws entrench gender inequality.
o May not give equal rights to women and men.
o Personal laws – anything that relates to the family, marriage, divorce,
In these laws this is where the greatest inequalities are found.
- Kinship patriarchy
- Deniz Kandyoti: Sub-Saharan Africa; Asia; Middle East (Classic Patriarchy)
o Countries where there is patrilineal descent
o Male dominated, male privileges in property descent, decision making,
control over children.
o Women are „incorporated‟ into extended affinal families.
- State (political) and nation (cultural)
- Multi-nation states or singular nation states
- Repressive States ( a-secular e.g. religious or secular); religion as tool of politics.
o Canada is considered a secular state where it does not give privilege to one
religion over the other. However earlier our laws were influences but
roman or Christian laws.
- Ideological State Apparatus: capitalist, socialist; subtle means of coercion.
- Secular states- religious neutral (India) or extremely secular (France- cannot have
any kind of religious identities showing in public)
Gender and State
- Oppressive or liberating
- Constitutions may entrench equalities or inequality.