Debating Women's Equality: Toward a Feminist Theory of Law from a European Perspective

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Rutgers University Press, 2001 - Law - 244 pages
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Ute Gerhard places women's rights at the center of legal philosophy and discusses this struggle for eQuality as a driving force in the history of law. Focusing on Europe and taking the course of German feminism and law as primary examples, she incorporates the various social contexts in which Questions of eQuality and gender difference have been raised into an analysis that challenges misconceptions about the principle of eQuality itself.

Gerhard first discusses the history of women's movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She also traces the historical development of claims for gender eQuality as well as obstacles to these claims, critically exploring the influence of philosophers such as Rousseau, Fichte, and Kant. Gerhard concludes that women need to be recognized as both eQual and different-that claims to eQuality do not simply eliminate difference, but also articulate it. Mindful of the social and political contexts surrounding eQuality arguments, Gerhard tackles in-depth three legal issues: the meaning of women's rights in the public sphere, especially the right to vote; women's legal capacities in private law, or the legal doctrine of a so-called gender tutelage; and women's human rights, a prominent concern in the current international women's movement.


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