When and why do governments promote women's rights? Through comparative analysis of state action in seventy countries from 1975 to 2005, this book shows how different women's rights issues involve different histories, trigger different conflicts, and activate different sets of protagonists. Change on violence against women and workplace equality involves a logic of status politics: feminist movements leverage international norms to contest women's subordination. Family law, abortion, and contraception, which challenge the historical claim of religious groups to regulate kinship and reproduction, conform to a logic of doctrinal politics, which turns on relations between religious groups and the state. Publicly-paid parental leave and child care follow a logic of class politics, in which the strength of Left parties and overall economic conditions are more salient. The book reveals the multiple and complex pathways to gender justice, illuminating the opportunities and obstacles to social change for policymakers, advocates, and others seeking to advance women's rights. 'This book will be an instant classic in the politics of gender because of its power and scope. Based on meticulous empirical research, Htun and Weldon explain vast variation - within and across countries - in government policies that could help women advance towards full political, economic, and social equality. By disaggregating gender politics along different dimensions, they are able to uncover separate logics underlying, for example, family law, violence against women, and support for childcare - a masterful achievement.' Frances McCall Rosenbluth, Yale University, Connecticut 'One of the most important developments today is the expanding rights and power of women, yet policies that support women's equality in the law, family, and workplace differ a great deal around the world. Htun and Weldon's landmark book provides a valuable mapping and characterization of gender equality-promoting policies in 70 countries, as well as a streamlined and powerful framework for explaining them. Packed with data, qualitative case studies, and theoretical insights, this book is essential reading for scholars seeking to understand the rise of women's rights, the influence of women's movements, and the effects of political conflicts rooted in class and religion on gender relations around the globe.' Kimberly J. Morgan, George Washington University, Washington, DC 'In this exciting new book, Mala Htun and S. Laurel Weldon break new ground by not only showing the profo
Cambridge Studies in Gender and Politics: The Logics of Gender Justice: State Action on Women's Rights Around the World
1. Introduction: states and gender justice; 2. Feminist mobilization and status politics: combatting violence against women; 3. Governing women's legal status at work; 4. Doctrinal politics: religious power, the state, and family law; 5. Class politics: family leave and child care policy; 6. Reproductive rights: class, status, and doctrinal politics; 7. The multiple logics of gender justice; 8. Conclusion.