There has been a widespread resurgence of rights talk in social and legal discourses pertaining to the regulation of family life, as well as an increase in the use of rights in family law cases, in the UK, the US, Canada and Australia. Rights, Gender and Family Law addresses the implications of these developments – and, in particular, the impact of rights-based approaches upon the idea of welfare and its practical application. There are now many areas of family law in which rights and welfare based approaches have been forced together. But whilst, to many, they are premised upon different ethics – respectively, of justice and of care – for others, they can nevertheless be reconciled. In this respect, a central concern is the 'gender-blind' character of rights-based approaches, and the ontological and practical consequences of their employment in the gendered context of the family. Rights, Gender and Family Law explores the tensions between rights-based and welfare-based approaches: explaining their differences and connections; considering whether, if at all, they are reconcilable; and addressing the extent to which they can advantage or disadvantage the interests of women, children and men. It may be that rights-based discourses will dominate family law, at least in the way that social policy and legislation respond to calls of equality of rights between mothers and fathers. This collection, however, argues that rights cannot be given centre-stage without thinking through the ramifications for gendered power-relations, and the welfare of children. It will be of interest to researchers and scholars working in the fields of family law, gender studies and social welfare.
Groups seeking legal equality often take a victory as the end of the line. Once judgment is granted or a law is passed, coalitions disband and life goes on in a new state of equality. Policy makers too may assume that a troublesome file is now closed. This collection arises from the urgent sense that law reforms driven by equality call for fresh lines of inquiry. In unintended ways, reforms may harm their intended beneficiaries. They may also worsen the disadvantage of other groups. Committed to tackling these important issues beyond the boundaries that often confine legal scholarship, this book pursues an interdisciplinary consideration of efforts to advance equality, as it explores the developments, challenges, and consequences that arise from law reforms aiming to deliver equality in the areas of sexuality, kinship, and family relations. With an international array of contributors, After Legal Equality: Family, Sex, Kinship will be an invaluable resource for those with interests in this area.
Islamic family law has an immediate and direct impact on the lives of Muslim men, women and children, whose personal status continues to be defined by understandings of Islamic law codified and adapted by modern nation-states. This book examines how male authority is sustained through law and court practice, the consequences for women and the family, and the demands made by Muslim women's groups. Examining the construction of male guardianship (qiwama, wilaya) in the Islamic tradition, it also seeks to create an argument for women's full equality before the law. Bringing together renowned Muslim scholars and experts, anthropologists who have carried out fieldwork in family courts, and human rights and women's rights activists from different parts of the Muslim world, from Morocco to Egypt and Iran, this book develops a framework for rethinking Islamic Law and its traditions in ways that reflect contemporary realities and understandings of justice and gender rights.
Recently, new methods of dispute resolution in matters of family law-such as arbitration, mediation, and conciliation-have created new forms of legal culture that affect minority communities throughout the world. There are now multiple ways of obtaining restitution through nontraditional alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms. For some, the emergence of ADRs can be understood as part of a broader liberal response to the challenges presented by the settlement of migrant communities in Western liberal democracies. Questions of rights are framed as "multicultural challenges" that give rise to important issues relating to power, authority, agency, and choice. Underpinning these debates are questions about the doctrine and practice of secularism, citizenship, belonging, and identity. Gender and Justice in Family Law Disputes offers insights into how women's autonomy and personal decision-making capabilities are expressed via multiple formal and nonformal dispute-resolution mechanisms, and as part of their social and legal lived realities. It analyzes the specific ways in which both mediation and religious arbitration take shape in contemporary and comparative family law across jurisdictions. Demarcating lines between contemporary family mediation and new forms of religious arbitration, Bano illuminates the complexities of these processes across multiple national contexts.
Using original empirical data and critiquing existing research, Samia Bano explores the experience of British Muslim woman who use Shari'ah councils to resolve marital disputes. She challenges the language of community rights and claims for legal autonomy in matters of family law showing how law and community can empower as well as restrict women.
Women constitute a large portion of the economically active population engaged in agriculture. International instruments on human rights, the environment and sustainable development reaffirm the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. Yet women often face gendered obstacles in realizing their rights and feeding their families. The right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, may thus not be fulfilled. These obstacles may stem from directly or indirectly discriminatory norms or from entrenched socio-cultural practices, or both. This study analyses the gender dimension of agriculture-related legislation in a selection of different countries around the world, examining the legal status of women in three key areas: rights to land and other natural resources; rights of women agricultural workers; and rights concerning women's agricultural self-employment activities, ranging from women's status in rural cooperatives to their access to credit, training and extension services.