Advocating Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland: Local and Global Tensions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is frequently claimed that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is more significant for the cultural, rather than legal, work that it does in re-framing locally contested gender issues as the subject of international human rights. While this argument is well-developed in respect of violence against women, CEDAW’s cultural traction is less clear in respect of women’s right to access safe and legal abortion. This article examines the request made jointly by Alliance for Choice, the Family Planning Association Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform to the CEDAW Committee to request an inquiry under the CEDAW Optional Protocol into access to abortion in the jurisdiction. The study found that the CEDAW framework was useful in underpinning alliances between diverse pro-choice organisations, but less effective in securing the support of ‘mainstream’ human rights organisations in the jurisdiction. The article argues that the local cultural possibilities of CEDAW must be understood as embedded within both the broader structural gendered limitations of international human rights law and persistent regressive gendered sub-themes within mainstream human rights advocacy.
LanguageEnglish
Pages716-740
JournalSocial and Legal Studies
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2016

Fingerprint

abortion
human rights
jurisdiction
legal abortion
women's rights
family planning
discrimination
violence
Law
gender

Keywords

  • Abortion
  • Reproductive Rights
  • CEDAW
  • Northern Ireland

Cite this

@article{9d8d34b6a3784ed19d8eb5cb1b00cad1,
title = "Advocating Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland: Local and Global Tensions",
abstract = "It is frequently claimed that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is more significant for the cultural, rather than legal, work that it does in re-framing locally contested gender issues as the subject of international human rights. While this argument is well-developed in respect of violence against women, CEDAW’s cultural traction is less clear in respect of women’s right to access safe and legal abortion. This article examines the request made jointly by Alliance for Choice, the Family Planning Association Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform to the CEDAW Committee to request an inquiry under the CEDAW Optional Protocol into access to abortion in the jurisdiction. The study found that the CEDAW framework was useful in underpinning alliances between diverse pro-choice organisations, but less effective in securing the support of ‘mainstream’ human rights organisations in the jurisdiction. The article argues that the local cultural possibilities of CEDAW must be understood as embedded within both the broader structural gendered limitations of international human rights law and persistent regressive gendered sub-themes within mainstream human rights advocacy.",
keywords = "Abortion, Reproductive Rights, CEDAW, Northern Ireland",
author = "Catherine O'Rourke",
year = "2016",
month = "12",
day = "30",
doi = "10.1177/0964663916668249",
language = "English",
volume = "25",
pages = "716--740",
journal = "Social and Legal Studies",
issn = "0964-6639",
number = "6",

}

Advocating Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland: Local and Global Tensions. / O'Rourke, Catherine.

In: Social and Legal Studies, Vol. 25, No. 6, 30.12.2016, p. 716-740.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Advocating Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland: Local and Global Tensions

AU - O'Rourke, Catherine

PY - 2016/12/30

Y1 - 2016/12/30

N2 - It is frequently claimed that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is more significant for the cultural, rather than legal, work that it does in re-framing locally contested gender issues as the subject of international human rights. While this argument is well-developed in respect of violence against women, CEDAW’s cultural traction is less clear in respect of women’s right to access safe and legal abortion. This article examines the request made jointly by Alliance for Choice, the Family Planning Association Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform to the CEDAW Committee to request an inquiry under the CEDAW Optional Protocol into access to abortion in the jurisdiction. The study found that the CEDAW framework was useful in underpinning alliances between diverse pro-choice organisations, but less effective in securing the support of ‘mainstream’ human rights organisations in the jurisdiction. The article argues that the local cultural possibilities of CEDAW must be understood as embedded within both the broader structural gendered limitations of international human rights law and persistent regressive gendered sub-themes within mainstream human rights advocacy.

AB - It is frequently claimed that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is more significant for the cultural, rather than legal, work that it does in re-framing locally contested gender issues as the subject of international human rights. While this argument is well-developed in respect of violence against women, CEDAW’s cultural traction is less clear in respect of women’s right to access safe and legal abortion. This article examines the request made jointly by Alliance for Choice, the Family Planning Association Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform to the CEDAW Committee to request an inquiry under the CEDAW Optional Protocol into access to abortion in the jurisdiction. The study found that the CEDAW framework was useful in underpinning alliances between diverse pro-choice organisations, but less effective in securing the support of ‘mainstream’ human rights organisations in the jurisdiction. The article argues that the local cultural possibilities of CEDAW must be understood as embedded within both the broader structural gendered limitations of international human rights law and persistent regressive gendered sub-themes within mainstream human rights advocacy.

KW - Abortion

KW - Reproductive Rights

KW - CEDAW

KW - Northern Ireland

U2 - 10.1177/0964663916668249

DO - 10.1177/0964663916668249

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 716

EP - 740

JO - Social and Legal Studies

T2 - Social and Legal Studies

JF - Social and Legal Studies

SN - 0964-6639

IS - 6

ER -