Human Rights&Ethis paper2

Human Rights&Ethis paper2 - Akunna Ibe Human...

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Akunna Ibe Professor Robert Shepherd Due: October 22 nd , 2010 Drawing on the articles by Lucinda Peach, Anne Griffiths, Heather Montgomery, Lila Abu- Lughod, and Sally Merry, it is clear that gender, class, ethnicity and local play an important role in cases that revolve around the issue of women’s rights. The authors address issues of whether women are “human”, whether they need “saving” and if enough women can agree on what they want as human rights to be able to work on the issue collectively. All of these human rights issues are made harder by reality because the addressing the situations are particular to each cultural context; hence it is hard to apply one common theory to solve all of them. Lucinda Peach, a feminist, in her argument asks the question “Are women human?” (Peach in Peach. Bell, Nathan, Peleg: 157) Although this is a rhetorical question, when looking human rights are legally defined, this question becomes relevant. She asks this question because human rights are not only about differences in socio-economic class, but rather about gender; International Human Rights Law has been mainly written by men, for men hence are women fully “human”? (Charlesworth, et. al. 1991: 613) The reality is that women have less access to necessities such as food, education and healthcare, women are the main victims of rape, sexual assaults and domestic violence, and women consistently earn less than men for comparable work and have less access to income-producing activities. Given this global reality, Lucinda peach questions, do human rights accords serve the interests of women in general? Peach touches upon realities of prostitution in Thailand. She says that economic and cultural ‘incentives’ may motivate some rural villagers to sell off their daughters. Thai [Thereavada] Buddhism does not emphasize autonomous beings invested with individual rights and there is a gendered division of opportunities to ‘make merit’ in monastic orders. Bhuddism does not clearly condemn sex for money as a ‘sin’ in the Judeo-Christian sense of this word and therefore, women are willing victims if not voluntary agents. (eg. Journal of Buddhist
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ethics, 1995) There is a “willingness” of some women to enter or leave the trade due to the lack of economic alternatives in the country. In order to fix this, Lucinda peach suggests taking context into account and using what is practically effective within the context. She says that culture is not coextensive with political boundaries. Transnational and international arenas are also influential in shaping identity, meaning individuals are part of the international community in which they are recognized as bearing human rights. Peach suggest the need for “incorporation” and “diversification” saying that expanding the understanding of “human” in international rights to include women from diverse cultural contexts. The word “human” in human rights is flexible enough to include women and non western women
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Human Rights&Ethis paper2 - Akunna Ibe Human...

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