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Mänskliga rättigheter åberopas; kvinnovåld som internationellt politiskt fenomen

Doktorandprojekt I mitt avhandlingsprojekt fokuserar jag på förståelsen av och användningen av mänskliga rättigheter i samband med politiseringen av våld mot kvinnor ur ett filosofiskt och historiskt perspektiv.

I mitt avhandlingsprojekt fokuserar jag på förståelsen av och användningen av mänskliga rättigheter i samband med politiseringen av våld mot kvinnor ur ett filosofiskt och historiskt perspektiv. Jag undersöker hur man har pratat om våld mot kvinnor i internationella konventioner och deklarationer under nittonhundratalet.

Projektöversikt

Projektperiod:

2012-09-01 2016-06-30

Medverkande institutioner och enheter vid Umeå universitet

Institutionen för idé- och samhällsstudier

Forskningsområde

Idéhistoria

Projektbeskrivning

In my PhD project I focus on how the issue of violence against women has been dealt with in international agreements and political discourse and contextualize that in the broader history and philosophy of human rights. Violence against women in some form has been a hot topic for the international women’s movements dating at least to the late 19th and the beginning of the 20th century when the debate about “white slavery” reached its peak and later resulted in international conventions and acts. The second half of the 20th century has witnessed a triumph of the human rights discourse. However, there exist various different meanings about their philosophical grounds and conceptual implications as well as practical uses in real political situations.
Since the 1980s, women’s organizations have paid increased attention to violence against women and brought it to the international arena via the UN conferences on women. Accordingly, since the 1990s there has been a breakthrough for the women’s rights as human rights campaign within the UN, especially in relation to the phenomenon of violence against women. The general understanding was that violence was something that affected women in every part of the world even if it took different forms in different places and cultures; and therefore it should be taken into account by the international community, especially the human rights framework. However, at the international arena there has existed a tension, at least since the adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, between what should be regarded as specific women’s rights one the one hand, and universal human rights on the other hand. The phenomenon of violence against women as a violation of human rights introduces yet another dimension to the human rights discourse in terms of the public/private divide. Historically, the ideas of human rights rest on a clear distinction between private and public as they revolve around relations between individuals and state authority. This raises the question how to perceive violence against women which often takes place within the private sphere by non-state actors.
I am interested in if and how the campaigns to define women’s rights as human rights, and especially the redefinition of violence against women as a violation against their human rights, have altered the way in which human rights are understood. I addition to that I am interested in how something which has traditionally been regarded as personal is made political and even a transnational political topic. This sets the background for my analysis, which revolves around how women’s bodies and violence against them have been “talked about” in the international arena in terms of international conventions, declarations and regulations through the last century.