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

INEC Announces Nigeian Elections Will Continue Tomorrow

INEC just announced via its newly created Twitter account for alerts @INECAlert that elections will be postponed till tomorrow in some polling units. This affects ... Full story

Bomb Blast At Polling Station In Enugu State

There was pandemonium today as two bombs were detonated at the WTC primary school polling station in Enugu North local government area by operatives of ... Full story

32 Year Guy Fell In Love With A Woman Sixty Years Older Than Himself

A man who fell in love with a woman sixty years older than himself has told of his special relationship with her that transcended age. It ... Full story

Children Spotted In Line Getting Accredited To Vote In Katsina State

A young boy clearly under the age of 18 had just been photographed by a voter in Katsina state getting his finger prints read by ... Full story

I’m Single And Searching, May D Confirms Breakup With Baby Mama

May D has confirmed to HipTv that he has moved on from his babymama and he is definitely single and still browsing (using the exact ... Full story

Pastor Madubuko Suffering In His Marriage With Emmy Kosgey Silently

Reports emerging from Nigeria indicate that all might not be well with Emmy Kosgey following the history of her rich pastor husband with women. A ... Full story

Jennifer Lopez And Toyboy Casper Smart Seen Kissing in LA

Jennifer Lopez and toyboy Casper Smart are supposedly back together after the couple were spotted kissing backstage at her American Idol season 14 taping in ... Full story

Nigerian Stars, Kunle Afolayan, Banky W And Others Spotted At Polling Stations

Our celebrities seem to be really eager to show their fans ways of being a patriotic Nigerians. Some of them are already out queuing to cast ... Full story

Nollywood Actress, Omoni Oboli- Dont Be Influenced By Money

Omoni Oboli, Nollywood diva and mother of three awesome boys also has some piece of advise for Nigerians as they cast their votes today. The delectable ... Full story

One killed In Osun Violence

The 2015 presidential elections have kicked off and so far it has been going on peacefully except in some states such as Enugu and Osun ... Full story

APC Presidential Candidate Accredited In Daura

Accreditation of Voters is underway at Kofar Baru 3 in Sarkin Yara “A” in Daura Local Government Area. Of Katsina State. Presidential candidate of All Progressives ...

Comment on: Gender - Addressing the Public/Private Divide

Rate this article

0

Featured author

Paula Obiewkwe

Breaking News

I Found The Ring Inside His Socks- Ashionye Shares Interesting Love Story

Ashionye Raccah is a popular Nigeria actress, producer and singer, but met true love in the heart of a Nigeria-based Ireland husband, Carl. They have been ...

ELECTION 2015: Guy Proposes To His Girlfriend At Polling Unit

He Has Decided : Guy Proposes To His Girlfriend At Polling Unit #NigeriaDecides2015Just saw this story on twitter and it got me laughing …. but ...

I Am Using Myself to Correct Bad Impressions About Actresses ...Mercy Johnson

Nollywood actress, Mercy Johnson, has called on fans and colleagues to always have trust and true love for their husband if they want their marriage ...

For My Home to be Strong, I Can’t Marry an Actress...Desmond

Nollywood actor, Diamond Oke¬chi aka Alobam, has joined the league of actors who have declined any intentions of settling down with their female colleagues in ...

Sandra Muna Korie Grabs Beauty Queen’s Boobs

Well, he’s not really grabbing it, but you can see where his hand is…hehe. That’s Sandra Muna Korie, Most Beautiful Face in Nigeria Amity winner. ... Full story

Election 2015: Muma Gee Escapes Assassination In Rivers State

Actress singer and performer turned politician Muma Gee Eke who had earlier dumped PDP to Labour party reportedly escaped an assassination attempt on her life ...

2015: Mixed Reactions Trail Polling Units During Accreditation

As Nigeria decides who will be the president for the next four years, the different centers designated for the accreditation process are having people experience ...

2015 Election: Praiz Postpones UK Tour, Apologies To Fan

Talented vocalist and musician, Praiz, has postponed his UK tour. The reason is not far-fetched, as it might likely be linked to the on going 2015 ...

Eniola Aluko Puts Her law Career On Hold

Nigerian born-England striker, Eniola Aluko has expressed her intentions to put her law career on hold as she focuses on full time football. The 28-year old ... Full story

Don't Be Swayed By Money- Omoni Oboli Advises Voters

Omoni Oboli, Nollywood diva and mother of three awesome boys also has some piece of advise for Nigerians as they cast their votes today. The delectable ...