Protecting the Rights of Women

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Essays on Human Rights , Law and International Relations


Tensionsthat remain inherent in recognizingWomen’s Rights.
The French feminist writer, Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) writes about the perceptions of women, their role and significance in society. In her work,’The Second Sex (1949), she argues that:
“One is not born, but rather becomes a woman. No biological, psychological or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society;
it is civilization as a whole that produces this creature, intermediate between male and eunuch, which is described as feminine.” ( Simone de Beauvoir (1949) in Cohen p. 603)
Beauvoir’s analysis alludes to the idea that the feminine gender is not a biological variable, but a sociological construct, one in which the particular sociopolitical cultural context in which a woman finds herself determines her role, identity and significance in that particular society. The question, therefore, of ‘what is a woman’ that Beauvoir poses has to be answered with reference…

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