Gender Equality: Dimensions of Women's Equal Citizenship

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Citizenship is the common language for expressing aspirations to democratic and egalitarian ideals of inclusion, participation, and civic membership. However, there continues to be a significant gap between formal commitments to gender equality and equal citizenship – in the laws and constitutions of many countries, as well as in international human rights documents – and the reality of women’s lives. This volume presents a collection of original works that examine this persisting inequality through the lens of citizenship. Distinguished scholars in law, political science, and women’s studies investigate the many dimensions of women’s equal citizenship, including constitutional citizenship, democratic citizenship, social citizenship, sexual and reproductive citizenship, and global citizenship. Gender Equality takes stock of the progress toward – and remaining impediments to – securing equal citizenship for women, develops strategies for pursuing that goal, and identifies new questions that will shape further inquiries.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This outstanding collection of essays both illuminates and complicates a range of gender justice problems in intimate and public arenas within and across national boundaries. The "citizenship" of the title stands for democratic inclusion, and is animated by an aspirational vision of "equal citizenship" for women and men. Yet the volume's editors recognize that the citizenship concept is itself fraught and double-edged, and must be deployed self-critically. 'Gender Equality' is comprised of a set of original essays by a range of distinguished scholars working at the intersection of feminist legal and political theory. The volume offers a rigorous overview of many of the political and theoretical conundrums facing advocates of equal justice for women today."
—Linda Bosniak, Rutgers University School of Law

“This rich cross-national and comparative collection explores and assesses the progress of women toward equal citizenship, identifying multiple dimensions of citizenship and theorizing citizenship in new arenas. Posing complex and provocative questions, Gender Equality will generate conversations between legal scholars and political scientists and will challenge empirical researchers and theorists to consider more fully what equal citizenship requires.”
—Carol Nackenoff, Department of Political Science, Swarthmore College

“This volume is an exciting collection that will be essential reading for those concerned with gender equality and citizenship across myriad disciplines.”
—Leti Volpp, University of California Berkeley School of Law

“ A treasure box of insight on equal citizenship, a concept with great constitutional and normative promise for advancing gender equality”
—Jane Mansbridge, Adams Professor, Kennedy School, Harvard University

"Professors Linda McClain and Joanna Grossman have compiled an enlightening collection of articles that address the barriers that remain to full gender equality. Departing from traditional analysis, the collection employs the language of equal citizenship to reflect on society's progress toward achieving equal status for all individuals. ... By emphasizing the exclusionary and masculine underpinnings of current conceptions of citizenship, Professors McClain and Grossman's collection recognizes a need to regender citizenship in order to eliminate the gender biases that remain present despite contemporary gender-neutral definitions of citizenship."
—Harvard Law Review

"In sum, this collective volume provides a rich array of theoretical perspectives and empirical analysis, which bring together formal, substantive and discursive dimensions of women's precarious citizenship in a US and international context."
—Canadian Journal of Political Science

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521766470
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2009
  • Pages: 468
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda C. McClain is Professor of Law and Paul M. Siskind Research Scholar at Boston University School of Law. She is the author of The Place of Families: Fostering Capacity, Equality, and Responsibility, which was praised as 'the most careful and comprehensive defense to date of the progressive liberal feminist position on the civic role of families'. She is currently at work on a book on contemporary challenges over regulating civil society titled Free and Equal Association. McClain is a former faculty Fellow of the Harvard University Center for Ethics and the Professions.

Joanna L. Grossman is Professor of Law at Hofstra University, where she served as associate dean for faculty development from 2004 to 2008. She has also taught at Vanderbilt Law School and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Law and is a former recipient of a Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship. She is an expert in sex discrimination law and has written extensively about workplace equality, with a focus on issues such as sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. She is a regular columnist for FindLaw's Writ, an online source for legal commentary.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Linda McClain and Joanna L. Grossman; Part I. Constitutional Citizenship and Gender: 1. Gender at the margins of contemporary constitutional citizenship Rogers Smith; 2. Becoming a citizen: marriage, immigration, and assimilation Kerry Abrams; 3. Women's civic inclusion and the bill of rights Gretchen Ritter; 4. Must feminists identify as secular citizens? Lessons from Ontario Beverley Baines; 5. Feminist fundamentalism and constitutional citizenship Mary Anne Case; Part II. Political Citizenship and Gender: 6. Women and antiwar protest: rearticulating gender and citizenship Kathryn Abrams; 7. Stem cells, disability, and abortion: a feminist approach to equal citizenship Nancy Hirschmann; 8. Representation, discrimination, and democracy: a legal assessment of gender quotas in politics Anne Peters and Stefan Suters; 9. Citizenship and women's election to political office: the power of gendered public policies Eileen McDonagh; Part III. Social Citizenship and Gender: 10. Pregnancy and social citizenship Joanna L. Grossman; 11. Equality: still illusive after all these years Martha Albertson Fineman; 12. Razing the citizen: economic inequality, gender, and marriage tax reform Martha T. McCluskey; Part IV. Sexual and Reproductive Citizenship: 13. Sexual citizens: freedom, vibrators, and belonging Brenda Cossman; 14. Feminism, queer theory, and sexual citizenship Maxine Eichner; 15. Infertility, social justice, and equal citizenship Mary Lyndon Shanley; 16. Reproductive rights and the reproduction of gender Barbara Stark; Part V. Global Citizenship and Gender: 17. Women's unequal citizenship at the border Regina Austin; 18. Domestic violence, citizenship and equality Elizabeth Schneider; 19. Reproductive rights and the reproduction of gender Barbara Stark; 20. On the path to equal citizenship and gender equality Anisseh Van Engeland-Nourai; 21. Gender and human rights Deborah Weissman.

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