Gendered Violence and International Human Rights: Thinking Non-Discrimination Beyond the Sex Binary

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Abstract

The concept of non-discrimination has been central in the feminist challenge to gendered violence within international human rights law. This article critically explores non-discrimination and the challenge it seeks to pose to gendered violence through the work of Judith Butler. Drawing upon Butler’s critique of heteronormative sex/gender, the article utilises an understanding of gendered violence as effected by the restrictive scripts of sex/gender within heteronormativity to illustrate how the development of non-discrimination within international human rights law renders it ineffective to challenge gendered violence due to its own commitments to binarised and asymmetrical sex/gender. However, the article also seeks to encourage a reworking of non-discrimination beyond the heteronormative sex binary through employing Butler’s concept of cultural translation. Analysis via the lens of cultural translation reveals the fluidity of non-discrimination as a universal concept and offers new possibilities for feminist engagement with universal human rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-283
Number of pages21
JournalFeminist Legal Studies
Volume22
Issue number3
Early online date21 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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