Exploring the Angst of Some Academic Feminists Concerning Children’s Rights

By Sonja Grover.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Amongst children’s rights advocates, the general consensus is that advancements in women’s human rights are not only beneficial to, but essential to advancement in children’s well-being and recognition of their basic rights as well. Thus, UNICEF, the United Nation’s child advocacy body, vigorously advocates for improvements in women’s health, their financial power, control over their own reproductive potential, access to education and the like. Yet, in contradistinction, there is a segment of the feminist academic community which has raised concerns about the attention which children’s human rights issues are receiving and erroneously suggests that children’s rights issues inevitably overshadow women’s issues whenever the former are raised. For instance, a 2007 call for papers for a special issue of the journal Australian Feminist Studies to deal with ‘the child’ states “…feminist commentators are observing that a social policy shift to concern with the child displaces previous concerns with women.” It would seem that the concern of the aforementioned segment of the feminist academic community is that children’s rights advocates may address the rights of children which at times conflict with women’s rights claims. However, though women are a long suffering population who are deserved of respect for their human dignity; this does not in any way mitigate against the proposition that children as persons in their own right can, and sometimes do have legitimate competing rights claims against female adults. Selected examples of feminist critique of the children's human rights movement and of the international human rights perspective generally are examined and challenged

Keywords: Feminist, Women's Rights Movement, Children's Rights Movement, Children's Human Rights

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 584.575KB).

Dr. Sonja Grover

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Lakehead University, ThunderBay, Ontario, Canada

Sonja Grover is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University. She has published extensively in the area of children’s human rights. Her research is interdisciplinary combining social science, education and the law. Her work is a form of applied human rights advocacy highlighting needed legislative and social policy changes that will positively impact children’s well-being and enhance recognition of their inherent rights and freedoms. She has a special interest in marginalized child groups. Her new book The Child’s Right to Legal Standing was published by Lexis Nexis in July 2008 and is now available. Her previous book Children’s Human Rights: Challenging Global Barriers to the Child Liberation Movement was published by Sandstone Academic Press in May, 2007.

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