Law Reform, Constitutional Design, and Gender

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Dina Francesca Haynes and Naomi Cahn

in On the Frontlines

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780195396645
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918416 | DOI:
Law Reform, Constitutional Design, and Gender

Show Summary Details


New laws and constitutions are increasingly part of the standard package of legal and political revision that accompanies the end of violent conflict in many societies. Agreements on principle, as well as specific and detailed provisions on law reform and new constitutional arrangements constitute a core element of multiple peace agreements. This chapter concentrates on rule of law, constitution making, and constitutional enforcement. Section one examines rule of law initiatives and their effects on compounding, rather than undoing, existing inequalities for women. Section two turns to constitutional revision and enforcement and reveals the low priority and attention given to women’s full membership in the constitutional and legal community. Section three analyzes peace agreements as constitutional texts. It examines the constitutional dimensions of preagreement, framework, and implementation agreements, along with their implications for women. Section four scrutinizes the tendency to focus on the rights-bearing portions of a constitution as the route to addressing women’s rights. Section five addresses reproductive rights, drawing out an emphasis on the importance of autonomy for women in post-conflict settings.

Keywords: legal reform; rule of law; constitution making; constitutional enforcement; inequalities for women; constitutional revision; peace agreements; women’s rights; reproductive rights

Chapter.  12866 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.