Women’s Human Rights and Migration: Sex Selective Abortion Laws in the United States and India

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Book Review

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Taylor & Francis




In her compelling new book, Women's Human Rights and Migration, Sital Kalantry challenges the idea that a women's human rights framework offers a consistent and universal way to address complicated gender issues across countries. She is primarily concerned with the lives of migrant women in countries that respond to their social and cultural practices with harsh regulations designed to bring them in line with dominant ideas about gender equality. Kalantry focuses in on two issues in particular: sex-selective abortion and the veil as worn by Muslim women. Kalantry insightfully identifies a primary problem with these types of laws and regulations as decontextualisation, in which receiving countries assume that the practices of migrants in the new countries occur for the same reasons as they occur in their country of origin. Decontextualisation, Kalantry argues, does not take into account the diverse reasons that migrants may or may not continue social and cultural practices once they are in their new country. In turn, the laws and policies are frequently misdirected and harm or undermine women's rights in the process.

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