Human Rights & Gender Violence : A International Law Into Local Justice

1223 Words5 Pages
Sally Engle Merry’s book, “Human Rights & Gender Violence: Translating International Law Into Local Justice,” attempts to show the relationship that exists between international rights and local culture. She tries to express the way in which local government complicates the issue of gender violence on a local level in regards to the norms that have begun to take shape on an international level. While internationally, a precedent on the manner in which gender violence should be approached has taken shape, it is rather difficult to assimilate these norms into local cultures as it may contradict the values and traditions of particular local groups. Sally Engle Merry takes this issue and shapes her thesis: considering the importance of…show more content…
There are social and political situations that need to be approached differently; there is no one size fits all. So that is the problem that Sally Engle Merry highlights in this book: how do we solve the disjunctures between global law and local justice? She introduces the CEDAW Committee in order to illustrate the way in which human rights mechanisms attempt to solve the problem, but ultimately struggle to overcome such challenges. CEDAW is critical of oppressive acts against women and attempted to chastise both India and Figi for using traditional means of reconciliation in order to amend rape charges, but while CEDAW actively voiced such opinions for justice, there was a flaw in the case they made. They failed to recognize the the local political context, acting without regard to the politics of the local area. Sally Engle Merry then contrasts CEDAW by bringing up the feminist activists who work on a local scale, taking into consideration the local conditions. Their approach differs from CEDAW. Rather than being quick to reprimand and force down international law, the feminist activists try to improve the situation for women by evaluating how certain translations would be received by a culture and how to minimize the tension that would arise in the event of clashing beliefs. Sally Engle Merry wants big committees like CEDAW to work with
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