From Self-Determination via Protection to Equality via Non-Discrimination: Defining Women’s Rights at the League of Nations and the United Nations

TitleFrom Self-Determination via Protection to Equality via Non-Discrimination: Defining Women’s Rights at the League of Nations and the United Nations
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsLake, Marilyn
EditorGrimshaw, Pat, Katie Holmes, and Marilyn Lake
Book TitleWomen's Rights and Human Rights: International Historical Perspectives
Pagination254-271
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
CityBasingstoke, UK
Abstract

In the late 1920s, Vera Brittain wrote two pamphlets on behalf of the English Six Point Group in which she made the case that ‘the status of women’ was an ‘international question’. Since the establishment of the League of Nations as ‘the triumph of the international idea’, she said, ‘women have come to regard the League as the one fitting instrument through which justice can be done to women, completely and for all time’. How justice would be best achieved for women was, however, a matter of continuing debate. National minorities, it was believed, had the right of ‘self-determination’; and so, feminists believed, did women. Importantly, the politics of self-determination was predicated on the recognition of the significance of cultural and sexual difference to the constitution of the self and political subjectivity. By the mid-1930s, however, in a discursive shift influenced by American interventions, the rights of minorities and of women were increasingly conceptualized as accruing not to groups, defined by nationality or gender, but to ‘individuals’, ‘without distinction’. The author details how the definition of women's rights changed in the League of Nations and United Nations. 

URLhttps://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9780333977644_17
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559646090

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