Gender - Addressing the Public/Private Divide

// Africa | Gender - Addressing the Public/Private Divide
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

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[1]. 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[2], 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[3]. The king or state can use laws to regulate the public sphere, but the private sphere is theoretically immune from legal regulation[4].

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.[5]

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" [6]. 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"[7].

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

#BringBackOurGirls Is Not A Hate Campaign - Oby Ezekwesili

Former minister of education and co-founder of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign on behalf of other participants of the campaign has replied a letter written to her ... Full story

Muhammadu Buhari May Discard AGF’s Guidelines For EFCC

There are indications that the incoming Muhammadu Buhari presidency may discard the regulations drawn for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by the Attorney General ... Full story

Sule Lamido Flees To Saudi Arabia, Leaving Behind N14billion Debt

Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State yesterday handed over to the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Abdu Babura, after a news conference at the ... Full story

Ejigbo Market Torture Victim Demands Justice

Mrs. Ajoke Agomo, who was tortured alongside two of her wards for allegedly stealing pepper, yesterday, appealed to an Ikeja High Court to do justice ... Full story

Baby Born With Traditional Beads In Lagos

Despite adopting several family planning strategies, a 52-year-old grandmother, Mrs. Funke Adamson, has ended up giving birth to a baby girl clutching white ‘Ileke’ (Yoruba ... Full story

Teenager, 9year Old Kidnap Baby, Demand For N2m Ransom

A teenager, Rachael John, 19, and a nine-year-old girl (names withheld) have been arrested by men of Ogun State Police Command for allegedly kidnapping a ... Full story

Final Year Student Of Adeyemi College Of Education On Excursion Slumps, Dies

THE academic environment of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo town, Ondo State, has again been thrown into mourning as a final year student of the ... Full story

Nigerian Military Court Frees Commander Victor Ebhaleme Accused Of Failing To Repel Boko Haram

The brigade commander of the 23 Armoured Brigade in Yola, Adamawa State, Victor Ebhaleme, has been acquitted by a general court martial holding at the ... Full story

Boko Haram: Man Disguised As Woman Arrested In Yobe

The man pictured was arrested by security people in Yobe state of northeast Nigeria. The Boko Haram terrorist cowardly man was disguised as a woman ... Full story

Abacha Loot: Secret Deal President Jonathan Made With Abacha's Family

For allegedly helping their father plunder Nigeria of an estimated $5 billion in the 1990s, Mohammed and Abba Abacha, and other relatives of the late ... Full story

$20bn Excess Crude Account: Many Nigerians Will Be Jailed After May 29 - Olusola Adeyeye

AS the Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, engage in war of words over the alleged unaccounted $20 billion ... Full story

Comment on: Gender - Addressing the Public/Private Divide

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Daddy Tried To Change His Environment, Entertainment Industry - Wole Robinson

Eldest son of veteran actor Femi Robinson who passed on, Wednesday, at the age of 75, Wole Robinson has described his late father as “a ... Full story

Yemi Alade Reveals Too Much Flesh At Press Conference

Yemi Alade Reveals Too Much Flesh At Press Conference What Is Wrong With Yemi Alade's Fashion Sense Should Yemi Alade Change Her Fashion Stylist? As the world looks ...

I’m Scared to Wear my Dead Sister’s Cloths...Kehinde Oshadipe

Since the death of Taiwo Oshadipe who passed away to glory on the 3rd of october 2014, her twin sister, Kehinde, is still under grief ...

After Affair with Producer, Nollywood Actress, Ruby Orikajor Puts to Bed

Gist flying in the air has it that Nollywood actress, Ruby Orikajor, has just put to bed a baby girl on May 20th, 2015. The actress ...

Halima Abubakar Shows Off Newly Acquired Sliver Teeth (Photo)

Nollywood actress cum producer, Halima Abubakar, has decided to top her expensive assets. The curvy diva who is well known to be a staunch Muslim, now ...

Find out why Ghanaian Actor, David Osei Turns Hairdresser

Ghanaian actor, Prince David Osei, has joined the league of entertainers who are now delving into one form of business to the other. Recently, the actor ...

Bukky Wright's Son Graduates With An Arts Degree; Unveil New Record Label

Who would know that this Nigerian actress has a son old enough to graduate from the university as she is rarely seen in the company ...

2 Houses Set Ablaze After Passenger Slaps ‘Okada’ Rider To Death

A mob set two buildings ablaze after a motorcycle passenger reportedly slapped the rider to death with an object suspected to be charms at Iyana ...

9 Stand Out Music Producers

No doubt, Nigerian music is enjoying a re-emergence in the global music scene. Though the artistes have done their part in ensuring this, producers sometimes ...

Nollywood: Minister Charges NFVCB On Positive Image

The Minister of Information, Mrs Patricia Akwashiki, has charged the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) to see to the projection of a positive ...