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8 - Dialogic Democracy, Feminist Theory and Women’s Participation in Constitution-Making

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 March 2019

Ruth Rubio-Marín
Universidad de Sevilla
Helen Irving
University of Sydney
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Explores the history of women’s participation in constitution-making in Liberia, and outlines the strategies women have adopted to have their aspirations for constitutional equality heard. Written from the author’s experience as an advisor on constitutional amendment and constitutional reform processes in Liberia, the chapter reflects upon the lessons drawn from this experience for women’s engagement in constitution-making. It explains the importance of a ‘dialogic’ approach, in which all voices contribute to the ultimate outcome. This goal, Williams explains, not only requires the participation of women, it also requires explicit attention to designing the types of processes that will encourage openness in participation. These processes are contextualised in the history of Liberia, its complex ethnic, religious and social demographics, and its experience of conflict. The dialogic approach, it concludes, offers a hope of real participation for women in one of the most fundamental of social decisions: the adoption or amendment of a constitution.
Women as Constitution-Makers
Case Studies from the New Democratic Era
, pp. 351 - 377
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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