Challenging patriarchal privelege through the development of international human rights

Stanlie M. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


fundamental boundaries of patriarchal privelege have been preserved and perpetuated through the establishment of elaborate normative systems of gender-based oppression. These systems, flexible and responsive to diverse conditions, are fully operational across time and space, from the familial through the national and international levels. This article examines the issues of women's rights within the context of the struggle to conceptualize human rights. It reviews contemporary international efforts to establish human rights legislation and argues that the process has been seriously impeded by the patriarchal nature of the three generations of human rights. Although some sensitivity to issues of women's rights has been exhibited, the dismal conditions of women all over the world generally, and in Africa specifically, are due in large part to the disaggregation of women's rights from conceptualizations of human rights. It is argued that the demise of normative systems of gender-based oppression is dependent upon reconceptualizations that serve to merge women's rights with struggles to conceive of and implement human rights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-578
Number of pages16
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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