What types of efforts have acknowledged and remedied the public/private divide?
I - INTRODUCTION
The Western legal tradition sees the world as composed of two spheres: the public, where law may regulate actors, and the private, where the law does not apply. Because women have long been associated with the private sphere, this division has historically excluded women from the protection of law.
Human rights law initially maintained the public/private divide, much to the detriment of women. The first women's rights treaty began to break down the barrier between public and private, clarifying that states must ensure women's rights in all areas of life. Advocacy on violence against women most strongly challenged that classical legal divide, and there is now an international consensus that states are obligated to exercise measures of 'due diligence' in preventing and responding to violence against women, even when the perpetrator is a non-state actor.
II - THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DIVIDE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW
The public/private division originates from classical liberal political philosophy, in which the world the public, political sphere is the realm of the government, while the private, apolitical sphere is that of family, home, and sexuality. The king or state can use laws to regulate the public sphere, but the private sphere is theoretically immune from legal regulation.
According to the liberal tradition, the two spheres also correspond with the two sexes: the public is the realm of men, the traditional breadwinner assumed to be the rational and political sex, and the private is the realm of women, the irrational and natural sex.
The gendered nature of the public/private divide in the Western legal tradition has had profound consequences for the rights of women. Feminists argue that the dichotomy has both excluded women from the public arena and reinforced their status as a second-class group.
First, as Hilary Charlesworth contends, sexist laws have directly discriminated by "exclud[ing] women from the public sphere - from professions, from the marketplace, from the vote" . Second, the law has failed to regulate much of what takes place in the private sphere. A failure to regulate "does not signify...neutrality", argues Charlesworth, explaining that a state's failure to criminalise marital rape, for example, "supports and legitimates the power of husbands over wives".
Rate this article
Latest Nigeria News
- 6 Guaranteed Politicians Tinubu Would Rely On As APC Crisis Thickens
- Borno State Commissioner Dies In Maiduguri
- 2 New Senators Take Oath Of Office
- Famous American Singer Shares His Touching Experience With A Kenyan Beggar
- Renewed Hostilities: Niger Deltans Say No To Avengers
- Imo Governor Okorocha Gifts Wife With New State Appointment
- I Can?t Predict When Recession Will End Says Finance minister
- NYSC: Corps Member Slumps, Dies After Party With Colleagues
- Properties Worth N1.5bn Traced To Goodluck Jonathan?s Aide
- Buhari Spent 6million On Ear InfectionTtreatment In The UK
- President Buhari Has Lost His Memory Says Fani-Kayode
- Boko Haram Releases New Video, Threaten To Capture Buhari
- Emir Sanusi Buys new N132m Rolls Royce For Sallah
- Dear Avengers, You Are Worse Than Boko Haram, Your Religion Has Condemned You
- Gunmen Abduct Catholic Priest In Delta
- Breaking: Cultists On Rampage,15 Feared Dead In Rivers
- TOUCHING! Meet The 'Okada Man' Who Has No Fingers On His Hands (Photos)
- SAD!Pregnant Woman Dies, Daughter Husband Injured In Car Crash
- Fatal Accident Along Benin Highway Leaves 20 Dead (Photos)
- Ghastly Accident At Ikeja-Along This Morning (Photo)
- SAD! Naked Corpses Of Rape Victims Dumped In Ikorodu, Lagos (Graphic Photos)
- Top 5 Deadliest Bank Robberies Across Nigeria In 2015 (Photos)
- Notorious Armed Robbers Police Arrested In Port Harcourt (Photo)
- SAD: Vehicle Crushes 4 Year Old Girl In Mother’s Shop In Lagos
- Cult Members Kill 2 Traders Over Toll
- Ooni of Ife’s Coronation Ceremony Begins (Photos)
- Prostitution In Nigeria: 3500 Male Sex Workers Discovered In Abuja
- Deplorable State Of Nigerians Deported From The UK
- Murtala Muhammed’s Uncle, Magajin Garin Kano, Dies At 98
- Funny! Driver Fakes Own Death To Evade Fine In Calabar (Photo)
- Little Girl, Kehinde Adebiyi Suffering From Cancer Needs Your Help
- Port Harcourt As Residents Dig Up Frozen Chicken Buried By Custom Officials
- Wickedness! New-Born Baby Found In A Bush In Ilorin (Graphic Photos)
- Police Shoots Bus Driver Dead At FESTAC/Mile 2 Road, Lagos (Video)
- I Have Forgiven My Critics - Ooni Of Ife-Elect, Adeyeye Ogunwusi
- Student Shot Dead By Alleged Cultists At Imo State University Yesterday
- Woman Gives Birth To A 'Mystery Baby' In Lagos (Photos)
- Touching! One Legged Man Washing A Car While Balancing On A Stick (Video)
- OMG! See The Long Snake Found In A Nigerian Student's Locker (Photos)
- Military Pilot Who Died In Yola Plane Crash Buried (Photos)