Northern Ireland: Advocating Abortion Rights – Local and Global Tensions

April 25, 2017
Congratulations to Dr. Catherine O’Rourke of the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University, Northern Ireland.  Her useful journal article was recently published in a special issue of Social & Legal Studies,  guest-edited by Siobhan Mullally, on “Regulating Abortion: Dissensus and the Politics of Rights”:

Catherine O’Rourke “Advocating Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland: Local and Global Tensions,” Social and Legal Studies 25 (6). pp. 716-740.
Published PDF       Submitted text (accepted after minor revisions)

Abstract:       It is frequently claimed that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is more significant for the cultural, rather than legal, work that it does in reframing locally contested gender issues as the subject of international human rights. While this argument is well developed in respect of violence against women, CEDAW’s cultural traction is less clear in respect of women’s right to access safe and legal abortion. This article examines the request made jointly by Alliance for Choice, the Family Planning Association Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform to the CEDAW Committee to request an inquiry under the CEDAW Optional Protocol into access to abortion in the jurisdiction. The study found that the CEDAW framework was useful in underpinning alliances between diverse pro-choice organizations but less effective in securing the support of ‘mainstream’ human rights organizations in the jurisdiction. The article argues that the local cultural possibilities of CEDAW must be understood as embedded within both the broader structural gendered limitations of international human rights law and persistent regressive gendered sub-themes within mainstream human rights advocacy.
_______________________
For full text of this article, see:
“Regulating Abortion: Dissensus and the Politics of Rights”:  special issue of Social & Legal Studies, ed. Siobhan Mullally and Clare Murray:  Table of Contents
___________
SUBSCRIBE TO REPROHEALTHLAW:
To receive these updates monthly by email from the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, enter your address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

 


Mechanisms for Advancing Women’s Rights

October 1, 2011

Congratulations to Simone Cusack, a former Fellow of our International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme, who authored the following guide, published by the Australian Human Rights Commission.  She now works there as a  Senior Policy/Research Officer in the Sex and Age Discrimination Unit (SAGE).

MECHANISMS FOR ADVANCING WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS:  A guide to using the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and other international complaint mechanisms
Australian Human Rights Commission, 2011, 95 pages, ONLINE  here.

This new guide to using the Optional Protocol to CEDAW to advance
women’s human rights provides practical guidance for lawyers,
advocates and women experiencing violations of their rights on how to
use the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and other international complaint
mechanisms to seek redress for violations of women’s human rights.

Section 1 provides an introduction to international complaint
mechanisms, including the Optional Protocol to CEDAW.

Sections 2 and 3 outline the communication and inquiry procedures of
the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and explain in detail how to use these
mechanisms to obtain redress for violations of women’s human rights.

Section 4 briefly examines some of the other complaint mechanisms
that are available to women at the international level.

Section 5 outlines a number of factors to be taken into account when
deciding whether to use international complaint mechanisms.

The remainder of the Guide includes key documents and identifies
further sources of information and assistance for women considering
using international complaint mechanisms.

The entire guide (95 pages) is available online here .