Feminist Constitutionalism

Global Perspectives

Feminist Constitutionalism
  • Edited by Beverley Baines

    Edited by Daphne Barak-Erez

    Edited by Tsvi Kahana

  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

    Online Publication Date:June 2012

    Online ISBN:9780511980442

    Hardback ISBN:9780521761574

    Paperback ISBN:9780521137799

  • Book DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511980442

    Subjects: Jurisprudence

Constitutionalism affirms the idea that democracy should not lead to the violation of human rights or the oppression of minorities. This book aims to explore the relationship between constitutional law and feminism. The contributors offer a spectrum of approaches and the analysis is set across a wide range of topics, including both familiar ones like reproductive rights and marital status, and emerging issues such as a new societal approach to household labor and participation of women in constitutional discussions online. The book is divided into six parts: I) feminism as a challenge to constitutional theory; II) feminism and judging; III) feminism, democracy, and political participation; IV) the constitutionalism of reproductive rights; V) women's rights, multiculturalism, and diversity; and VI) women between secularism and religion.


"Should a feminist constitutionalism exist, or a dialogue on constitutionalism that took feminist insights seriously, this book would be part of it. As things are, it calmly challenges limits and unsettles complacency by exceeding its own envelope, putting more solid ground under women’s feet as it expands law’s horizons."
- Catharine A. MacKinnon
From the foreword of Feminist Constitutionalism

"Feminist Constitutionalism offers a radically new perspective on the very foundations of our legal systems, going beyond ‘feminism and the law’ to assess the texts and traditions of the world’s constitutions through the lens of gender justice. This latest contribution to a burgeoning new field draws together leading legal scholars from around the world, lifting us out of our legal parochialism, and confronting the masculine practices and assumptions of constitutional law. It is sweeping in scope, and eclectic in the best sense of the word. How, the authors ask, can constitutionalism be reconfigured to serve the interests of gender equality? In answering this question, this volume opens a window on a landscape that has long been overlooked. Every reader – whether feminist or not – will learn much from this book’s engagement with the radical idea that constitutions are not gender-neutral."
Helen Irving
Professor of Law, The University of Sydney

"If dignity, liberty and equality shall make sense in our complicated worlds, and if democracy shall work in multilevel constellations of constitutional law, then this book is an important contribution towards it. A feminist intervention that deserves the name, diverse, transnational, and with a grip on the hard cases, this work proves to be a very inspiring read."

- Susanne Baer
Richterin des Bundesverfassungsgerichts, Professorin für Öffentliches Recht und Geschlechterstudien an der, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & James W Cook Professor, University of Michigan Law School