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

Asari Dokubo Slams President Jonathan’s Comments On Buhari

The Leader of Niger-Delta Peoples Volunteers Force, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, on Tuesday slammed President Goodluck Jonathan over his comment that Nigeria would have boiled if ...

Chibok girls’ parents, community leaders clash over Jonathan's N100m largesse

Controversy has erupted between parents of the kidnapped girls and leaders of the Chibok community in Abuja over an alleged N100m largesse given by President ...

Oby Ezekwesili: Female suicide bombers may be Chibok girls

Former minister and one of the leaders of the #BringBackOurGirls, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, has raised an alarm on the increasing use of teenage girls as ...

Mallam Nasir El-Rufai loses son in Abuja road crash

Tragedy hit the home of the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, in the early morning of Tuesday when his son, ...

Blessing Okagbare Wins 100 Metres Gold At Glasgow Commonwealth Games - Video

Blessing Okagbare wins women’s 100 metres gold in 10.85 seconds to increase Team Nigeria’s medals haul at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Okagbare also erased ...

Bomb Blast Rocks Kano Again, Many Feared Dead

Another explosion hit Kano, coming just 24 hours after the state suffered three bomb explosions in different locations. Today’s blast took place at the NNPC ...

Asari Dokubo: "Bomb attack on former Military Head of State was planned by Buhari himself"

This might look weird, but the former militant leader, Dokubo-Asari has alleged that the bomb attack on former Military Head of State was planned by ...

Kano State Catholic Church Bomb Blast Kills 6, Injures 13

2 Bombs went off in northern Nigeria’s main city of Kano, killing 6 people and wounded 13 others on Sunday, a senior police officer said. The ...

19 Yrs Old Ghanaian Girl Commits Suicide After S3x Tape Leaks - Video

The Ghanaian Girl who Became Famous After a video of her and her boyfriend Making Love Hit The internet Allegedly Committed Suicide, Benadicta Yeboah who ... Full story

Nigerian army arrest bomber disguised as woman in Kaduna

The Nigerian Army has apprehended a suspected insurgent in relation with the twin bomb blast that rocked Kaduna on Wednesday. The twin-bomb attacks which resulted in ... Full story

Nigerian man sentenced to death for failing to bribe policeman with N200

A shaft of pain knifed through his facial contours as he recounted the grisly experiences he had in prison for more than 23 years. Prior to ...

Comment on: Gender - Addressing the Public/Private Divide

Rate this article

0

Featured author

Paula Obiewkwe

Breaking News

Pastor Ashimolowo's Son, Tomi Marries in Grand Style (Pictures)

Recently, son of Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo of the Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC), Tomi Michael, got married to his sweetheart, Jeneba Kamara. The event held ...

I Once Raised $50,000 For My Daughter’s Treatment Without Begging—OJB Jezreel

Nigerian Music producer, OJB Jezreel, has explained that people who talked ill about him do not know how it feels to be down with kidney ...

I’m Not Jealous Of Anyone In Nollywood—Mosun Filani

Nollywood actress, Mosun Filani, has expressed gratitude to God for making her remain relevant in the movie industry considering the challenges.According to the actress, it ...

Ebola Scare Forces Jim Iyke Out Of Liberia

Disease of the moment, Ebola, is definitely making many people be on their toes. Almost everyone is talking about it and various governments in the ...

MC Danni B Advises Comedians

MC Danni B Emerging comic star, MC Danny B, formerly known as MC Baba D, has disclosed to Nigeriafilms.com that he likes the growth being experienced ...

Young Artistes Are Only After Ladies, Not Good Music—Ras Kimono

Veteran reggae artiste, Ras kimono, has lashed out on up and coming artistes over their poor attitude towards building a strong career for themselves in ...

Wizkid And Davido Engage in war of words on Twitter

Two of Nigeria’s biggest artists Davido and Wizkid don’t seem to like each other. If the subtweets The problem started when Wizkid tweeted a message ...

Yoruba Actress, Omotunde Ogundimu Critically Ill, Needs Financial Help

Popular Yoruba actress, Omotunde Ogundimu, who has been off the movie scene for a while now, is presently battling with fibroid. The mother of three ...

K1 Plans Big For ‘K1 LIFE UNUSUAL’ In November, Sets For World Music Tour

Fuji maestro, Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, better known as K1 De Ultimate, has concluded plans to embark on a world music tour. The Fuji king will ...

I Don’t Mess Around Because I Have A Husband—Shan George

Iconic Nollywood actress, Shan George has exclusively disclosed to Nigeriafilms.com that she is currently with a man she calls her husband and not messing around ...