Discrimination Against Women A Global Survey of the Economic, Educational, Social and Political Status of Women

By Eschel M. Rhoodie | Go to book overview

1. The Evaluation and Presentation of Data

What began as a comprehensive analysis of the legal environment of women, worldwide, slowly evolved into a broad-based evaluation of the status of women in general with emphasis on the legal environment. Ultimately four themes were dealt with: firstly, a profile of women internationally and by region; secondly, the status of women vis-à-vis men in respect of education, employment, occupation, and income; thirdly, visible discrimination in various fields such as education, religion, wages and employment opportunities; and fourthly, the legal world of women: constitutional provisions, statutory differentiation (or discrimination), and traditional or customary law in respect of political rights, family rights (to assets, to divorce, to guardianship of children, etc.), property rights, employment rights and rights of personal autonomy, highlighted by case studies of 20 different countries.

In studying the legal environment of women it soon became evident that for the study to have both academic and practical value, a background canvass on women, a frame of reference, was both desirable and necessary to facilitate the evaluation of the content and effect of legislation in respect of the rights of women. In short, the legal worlds of women should not and indeed cannot be evaluated in a vacuum. Evaluation, appreciation or condemnation is not possible without, at least, a background of women's status in respect of education, employment, income and other factors. At the same time, the United Nations' pronouncements and constitutional formulations which decry the existence of any disabilities against women are not sufficient on their own to evaluate society's attitude towards women. These international formulations, couched in governmental language, are more often than not merely hortatory. This work is more concerned with what national governments, and not the United Nations, have promulgated, enacted and decreed as law. But the United Nations cannot be ignored as an international agency because so many of the laws and regulations which have seen the light during the past decade (to eliminate discrimination against women and promote their general welfare) came about as the result of United Nations resolutions, actions and conventions.

Without a study of the legal worlds of women, the work would have been merely descriptive of the status of women and what people, organizations, governments and international agencies believe the reality should be. But reality is found in a juxtaposition of the dynamics of women's progress and the legal order; in adherence to legal precepts, or in their denial; in legal procedures to compel enforcement; and in the search for new laws to achieve equal

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Discrimination Against Women A Global Survey of the Economic, Educational, Social and Political Status of Women
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Part One Introduction 1
  • 1. the Evaluation and Presentation of Data 2
  • 2. the Status of Women: A Global View 13
  • 3. the Environment of Discrimination 34
  • Part Two: Legal and International Aspects 61
  • 4. the International World 62
  • 5. Constitutional and Statutory Differentiation 79
  • Part Three: the African World 99
  • 6. General Survey. 100
  • 7. Case Study: Nigeria 115
  • 8. Case Study: Kenya Introduction 125
  • 9. Case Study: South Africa 136
  • Part Four: the European Community 165
  • 10. General Survey 166
  • 11. Case Study: United Kingdom 191
  • 12. Case Study: France 201
  • 13. Case Study: West Germany 214
  • 14. Case Study: Switzerland 227
  • Part Five: North America 239
  • 15. Case Study: Canada 240
  • Conclusion 247
  • 16 Case Study: The United States 248
  • Part Six: the Communist East Bloc 289
  • 17. General Survey 290
  • 18. Case Study: the Soviet Union 304
  • Part Seven: Latin America 321
  • 19. General Survey 322
  • 20. Brief Case Studies of Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil and Peru 332
  • Part Eight: the Arab-Muslim World 345
  • 21. General Survey 346
  • 22. Case Study: Egypt 363
  • 23. Case Study: Tunisia 369
  • 24. Case Study: Iran 375
  • Part Nine: the Asian World 383
  • 25. General Survey 384
  • 26. Case Study: India 395
  • 27. Case Study: Japan 402
  • 28. Case Study: the People's Republic of China 417
  • Part Ten: Conclusions, Recommendations, Guide to Data, and Research Proposals 431
  • 29. Summary and Conclusions 432
  • 31. Data: Guide to Information Sources 481
  • 32. Research Proposals 505
  • Notes 519
  • Bibliography 587
  • Index 601
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