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The Positive Prospects For Personal Status Law Reform: Two Steps Forward

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Chapter Summary

The actual implementation and enforcement of human rights, including women's rights, takes place, by and large, in the domestic sphere. The obstacles to the domestic enforcement of women's equality rights in the area of family relations are numerous and complex. They can be divided into five main categories: (1) a conservative judiciary that is unwilling to adequately enforce the law; (2) the mixed impact of grassroots feminist organisations; (3) the rise of political Islam and the government's appeasement policy; (4) the prevalence of patriarchal attitudes and negative social stigmas attached to women's enjoyment of their equality rights, particularly in the area of family relations; (5) women's lack of awareness of their rights, and hence their complicity in the violation of their own human rights. The chapter examines each of these. Family law reforms have proven insufficient in bringing about the social transformation necessary for women's full enjoyment of their rights.

Keywords:domestic enforcement; family law reforms; grassroots feminist organisations; human rights; political Islam



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