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CEDAW, the Bible and the State of the Netherlands: the struggle over orthodox women’s political participation and their responses

Authors:

Barbara Oomen,

Joost Guijt,

Matthias Ploeg

Abstract

The case of the SGP essentially concerned the question whether the Netherlands should take measures against a Bible-based political party that bars women from its list of candidates. Against the theoretical background of human rights sociology, the rise of rights as a framework for moral discussions and the role of NGOs in rights implementation, this article assesses how ‘rights talk’, in particular based upon the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), became the language in which the discussion over orthodox women’s political rights came to be framed in the Netherlands. It makes use of extensive quantitative and qualitative data to assess how this particular form of rights realization – via court cases lodged by outside NGOs – impacted upon discussions within the communities concerned, particularly amongst the women themselves. It argues that this particular form of rights realization can also have undesired effects, such as reinforcing more conservative positions and strengthening a general sense of isolation from society and relates these findings to more general discussions on ‘talking rights’ in a context of religious diversity.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.129
How to Cite: Oomen, B., Guijt, J. & Ploeg, M., (2010). CEDAW, the Bible and the State of the Netherlands: the struggle over orthodox women’s political participation and their responses. Utrecht Law Review. 6(2), pp.158–174. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.129
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Published on 04 Jun 2010.
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