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Abstract

A review of Gender, Planning and Human Rights, edited by Tovi Fenster. New York: Routledge, 1999 (International Studies of Women and Place Series). 240pp.

Traditionally, feminist efforts to promote and protect women’s rights as human rights have focused on legalistic strategies, such as advocating for the inclusion of gender-specific concerns in international human rights conventions, the implementation of national legislation, the revision of laws that are discriminatory to women, and the strengthening of police and judicial procedures. In recent years, however, feminist activists and academics have recognized that advancing the status and empowerment of women requires recognition of the multiple dimensions of gender and human rights and, consequentially, the adoption of proactive strategies aimed at social, economic, and institutional change. Gender, Planning and Human Rights, edited by Tovi Fenster, is illustrative of the increasing feminist challenge to the purely legalistic conceptualization of human rights. The book comprises nine case studies that explore the geographies and spatialities of human rights in multicultural societies, with the goal of identifying methods for integrating gender and human rights issues in planning, development, and policy-making.

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