Gender and the Constitution: Equity and Agency in Comparative Constitutional Design

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Many of the world's constitutions were written in recent times, in some cases following a dramatic break with an earlier system of government, and in others through a deliberate choice to modernize. Many older constitutions are currently under review. Whether old or new, no democratic constitution today can fail to recognize or provide for gender equality. Constitution makers need to understand that constitutions are historically "gendered" and remain so; their provisions often have a disparate or differential impact on women, even where they appear gender neutral.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book makes an important contribution to a growing literature on a topic of concern to legal scholars, women's rights advocates, and political scientists...By providing a comparative overview of constitution making, interpretation, and application, Irving's book is a valuable resource for constitutional scholars as a whole, and for those especially interested in the role of gender in constitutions and the consequent effects of gender equality in society."
Politics & Gender Susan Gluck Mezey, Loyola University Chicago

"[This] book provides a necessary, and perhaps long overdue, service by launching a civic discourse about gender and the constitution."
International Law and Politics, Kristina Agassi

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521707459
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/30/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen Irving holds degrees in political science, anthropology, history, and law. She is currently Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney. Helen Irving has taught political science and constitutional law in several Australian universities since her first appointment in 1977 and was recently Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School from 2005 to 2006. She is the author of To Constitute a Nation: A Cultural History of Australia's Constitution and Five Things to Know about the Australian Constitution. She is also the editor of A Woman's Constitution?, The Centenary Companion to Australian Federation and Unity and Diversity: A National Conversation, among others. She has published widely in journals and in edited collections and is a frequent opinion writer and media commentator. She has been the historical consultant for a number of television and radio documentaries, as well as historical and constitutional advisor to many public and governmental bodies and Justices of the High Court of Australia.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

1 Framework 23

2 Constitutional Language 38

3 Federalism 65

4 Citizenship 90

5 Representation 109

6 The Constitutional Court 134

7 Equality Rights 162

8 Reproductive Rights 191

9 International and Customary Law 219

10 Conclusions: Amendment and Compliance 251

Index 260

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