Despite the best efforts of the United Nations and advances in human rights law, violence against women across the globe is still perpetuated in the gap between legal principle and local practices. Human Rights and Gender Violence investigates the tensions between global law and local justice from an insider’s perspective. As an observer of UN diplomatic negotiations as well as the workings of grassroots feminist organizations in several countries, Sally Engle Merry shows how human rights law holds authorities accountable for the protection of citizens even while it reinforces and expands state power. Using an approach that is both legal and anthropological, Merry contends that international human rights law must be framed in local terms to be accepted and thus effective.
"This is an important book that should receive extensive attention. . . . [It] makes major contributions not simply to studies of human rights and gender violence, but also to our knowledge of law, globalization, culture, and power in a world where transcultural ideas have an important capacity to promote change, but only through the processes by which they are mobilized, translated, and appropriated."