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The Limits of Human Rights$
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Bardo Fassbender and Knut Traisbach

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198824756

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198824756.001.0001

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Women’s Progress and Women’s Human Rights

Women’s Progress and Women’s Human Rights

(p.231) 15 Women’s Progress and Women’s Human Rights*
The Limits of Human Rights

Martha C. Nussbaum

Oxford University Press

Focusing primarily on CEDAW, this chapter examines the role that international human rights law plays in the advancement of the protection of human rights of women. The author claims that although human rights law lags well behind the women’s movement in some crucial ways, nonetheless, it is worthwhile that documents like CEDAW exist, and not merely for their direct legal value (which can be questioned). Documents help people to network across national boundaries and to develop a sense of common purpose, a common language, a common set of demands, and a sense that progress is being made. In a few cases, moreover, CEDAW has had a real, if limited, legal significance, when implemented by friendly jurists. The author suggests that the influence of international human rights law ought to be assessed, often at least, in this broader way, looking at the role of documents in political and social movements.

Keywords:   women’s equality, women’s human rights, Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), women’s movement, influence of international human rights law

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