Human Rights: Analysis of Women's Rights

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Some feminists have suggested that traditional human rights practice and law assumes a division between the public and the private. Explain what is meant by this, and why it is argued that such an assumption militates against recognising women’s human rights. Feminists such as Serena Parekh argue that there is a clear separation between the public and private realms in human rights laws, as the private realm (places such as the home) are assumed to be power-neutral and are shielded from Government interference. Furthermore, the power of law enforcement is only exercised in the public realm. Because of this, it is argued that the division between the public and private is creating permissive laws where instances of marital rape and domestic violence, for example, can be ‘ignored’. As cases of marital rape and domestic violence are often instigated by men against women, it can then be argued that the division of the public and private is working against recognising and enforcing women’s human rights. 2. Outline the ticking time bomb argument and explain how it lends support to the idea that torture can be justified. The ticking time bomb is a thought experiment that poses a scenario which typically involves a terrorist holding valuable information that could potentially save many lives being captured. The question then posed is whether it is justifiable or a “moral duty” to torture the terrorist in order to retrieve the information and save many innocent lives. Intellectual honesty makes torture in this situation conceivably justifiable, as the lives saved as a result of torture outweighs the suffering of a terrorist. Also, the ticking time bomb argument confines the case for torture to ‘interrogational torture’, where the aim is to gain important information. This rules out the acceptability of torture that is intended to change religion or punish an individual. By confining the cases of torture to ‘interrogational torture’ only, it is considerably more...
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