Girls Rights As Globalized Justice

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 9:30 AM
Room: 501
Distributed Paper
Hara BASTAS , City University of New York , Astoria, NY
Focusing on the rights of the girl child, I conduct a feminist, sociological, human rights analysis that uses framing processes to describe the development of girls’ rights within the United Nations (UN) from 1995-2010. To frame the contemporary process of girls’ rights trans-nationally, content analysis with three sets of documents (1) Annual reports from transnational organizations affiliated with the UN; 2) official UN documents; and 3) documents from UN sponsored Non-Governmental Organizations) demonstrate how the UN became the central location for girls’ rights within the international community particularly over the past fifteen years.

A discussion of girls’ rights can be traced through multiple components of the UN system. Guiding the discussion will be key components of the ‘new’ sociology of childhood that argues for childhood as a social construction, and for the child as a social actor. Also central to the discussion is a human rights analysis, where the social construction of girls’ rights can be characterized as “active in the sense that something is being done, and processual in the sense of a dynamic, evolving process” (Benford&Snow 2000). More specifically within the UN, the social problems of the girl child demonstrate problematic conditions in need of change, girls’ rights is the strategy used to bring attention to the social problems and the girl children join forces with adult and institutional allies for creating social change. Being aware of the girl child and girls’ rights ensures that both individually and as a society we do not ignore the social conditions and social inequalities of the girl child; for if ignored, the bondage of girl children will continue in more covert ways and we as a society will ultimately fail in securing the due rights of girls everywhere.