Structures of Discrimination

Congratulations to Rebecca Cook, Co-Director of our International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme, whose keynote speech at the international symposium held in October 2010 at Macalester College was recently published, and is now online at SSRN here.  


by Rebecca J. Cook
Macalester International Journal, Vol. 28, pp. 33-60, Spring 2011

This essay argues that, in order for women and men to be fully equal, we need to understand the structures of discrimination; that is, the forms of the subordination that are deeply rooted in how we stereotype women and men in ways that deny them benefits or impose burdens. The essay explores how gender stereotypes have contributed to: the failure of the criminal justice system to investigate the disappearances of young women; women�s unequal access to reproductive health services; and discrimination in polygamous family structures.

Conditions for stratification and subordination of women exist when wrongful gender stereotypes are socially pervasive across sectors, and persistent over time. In understanding how restrictive stereotypes of women are pervasive and persistent in criminal law, health law and family law, one is better equipped to dismantle structures of discrimination more generally.

The complete text of this article  is now available in PDF format through SSRN.  Article on SSRN

Rebecca Cook recently co-authored Gender Stereotyping: Transnational Legal Perspectives, with Simone Cusack, published in English by University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010, and in Spanish by Profamilia.  More info on English edition.    Spanish edition.

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