Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights

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Women in the rulings of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights: Moving beyond the single story

By Mariana Prandini Assis, The New School for Social Research (New York)**

BILLIE ZANGEWA, The Rebirth of the Black Venus, 2010*

BILLIE ZANGEWA, The Rebirth of the Black Venus, 2010*

After a long battle with the mainstream of human rights discourse and institutions dating from at least the era of the League of Nations, feminists organized in a transnational movement[1] have succeeded in placing women’s issues at the centre of human rights debates.

Here I want to take a step back from celebrating these achievements and ask: if women are now part of the transnational discourse on human rights, who are these women? How do transnational human rights institutions represent them? Or, put in other words, who is the female subject of transnational legal discourse and what gendered harms are made visible in this arena?

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