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The Gastronomics of TWAIL's Feminist Flavourings: Some Lunch-Time Offerings

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This paper was prepared as a lunch-time key-note address on the relationship(s) between Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) and feminism(s). It reflects on the author's experience, at the Beijing World Conference on Women in 1995, of seeking support from the African Caucus of nongovernmental representatives for the inclusion of references to 'sexual orientation' in the Beijing Platform for Action. The work of Janet Halley is drawn on to formulate a multiple choice 'lunch-time quiz', which sets out possible relationships between feminism and TWAIL. It is argued that although commensurabilities between these two bodies of thought are often difficult to discern, there are other alternatives to 'taking a break' from one in order to engage with the other. The author urges courage to pursue critical insights by interrogating the certainties of both sets of ideas, in order to develop 'a brief' that is powerful enough to challenge the hierarchies and injustices that are taken for granted by so many in the discipline of international law.

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, The University of Melbourne, Australia


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