Constituting Equality: Gender Equality and Comparative Constitutional Law

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Constituting Equality addresses the question, how would you write a constitution if you really cared about gender equality? The book takes a design-oriented approach to the broad range of issues that arise in constitutional drafting concerning gender equality. Each section of the book examines a particular set of constitutional issues or doctrines across a range of different countries to explore what works, where, and why. Topics include (1) governmental structure (particularly electoral gender quotas); (2) rights provisions; (3) constitutional recognition for cultural or religious practices that discriminate against women; (4) domestic incorporation of international law; and (5) the role of women in the process of constitution-making. Interdisciplinary in orientation and global in scope, the book provides a menu for constitutional designers and others interested in how the fundamental legal order might more effectively promote gender equality.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107403178
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/18/2011
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 382
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan H. Williams is the Walter W. Foskett Professor of Law at the Indiana University School of Law–Bloomington, where she also serves as the Director of the Center for Constitutional Democracy. Professor Williams graduated from Harvard Law School, where she served on the board of editors for the Harvard Law Review and then clerked for Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1985–86). She has been a visiting faculty member at the University of Paris II (Pantheon-Assas) and a Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge University, and at the European University Institute in Fiesole, Italy. Professor Williams is the author of Truth, Autonomy, and Speech: Feminist Theory and the First Amendment (2004). She has published numerous articles on issues related to freedom of speech, feminist theory, freedom of religion, and civil society. Her writing has appeared in the Stanford Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Journal, the Berkeley Women's Law Journal, the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, and the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law. At Indiana Law, Professor Williams teaches property, First Amendment law, feminist jurisprudence, and a seminar on comparative constitutional law on gender equality. Professor Williams is actively involved in constitutional advising for the Burmese democracy movement. She serves as a constitutional advisor to the Women's League of Burma, the Federal Constitution Drafting Coordinating Committee, and the state constitution drafting committees of all of the states of Burma. In this capacity, she teaches workshops, produces educational materials, and works on drafting and revising constitutional language.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: comparative constitutional law, gender equality, and constitutional design Susan H. Williams; Part I. Structure: 1. Gender quotas in politics - a constitutional challenge Drude Dahlerup and Lenita Freidenvall; 2. Equality, representation, and challenge to hierarchy: justifying electoral quotas for women Susan H. Williams; Part II. Rights: 3. More than rights Helen Irving; 4. Perfectionism and fundamentalism in the application of the German abortion law Mary Anne Case; 5. Moral authority in English and American abortion law Joanna Erdman; Part III. Cultural/Religious Rights and Gender Equality: 6. Must feminists support entrenchment of sex equality? Lessons from Quebec Beverly Baines; 7. Deconstructing the east/west binary: substantive equality and Islamic marriage in a comparative dialogue Pascale Fournier; 8. Conflicting agendas? Women's rights and customary law in African constitutional reform Aili Marie Tripp; 9. Gender equality and the rule of law in Liberia: statutory law, customary law, and the status of women Felicia Coleman; Part IV. Constitutional Incorporation of International Law: 10. Constitutional incorporation of international and comparative human rights laws: the Colombian constitutional court decision c-355/2006 Veronica Undurraga and Rebecca Cook; 11. Guatemalan transnational feminists: how their search for constitutional equality interplays with international law Christiana Ochoa; Part V. Women in the Process of Constitution Making: 12. Women in the constitution drafting process in Burma Thin Thin Aung; 13. Founding mothers for a Palestinian constitution? Adrien Wing; Conclusion: gender equality and the idea of a constitution: entrenchment, jurisdiction, and interpretation Vicki Jackson.

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