Alexandra Xanthaki

Women's Rights v. Cultural Rights: The Indigenous Woman

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Although the scope of the right to culture has been expanded and cultural rights have been recognized more than ever before, yet, recent years have seen the re-emergence of understanding culture and tradition in a negative light, and ultimately perceiving cultural rights as a threat to human rights, especially women's rights. This article uses the example of indigenous women to highlight the importance that culture has for some women around the world. An uncritical prioritization of women's rights over culture does not reflect their experiences, priorities and strategies. The softening of universalism, a more open wave of feminism and inter-sectionality; all underline the importance of giving these women a voice, empower them and listen to their decisions. Current international human rights law has to be interpreted with such principles in mind.


  • Women's Rights
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Feminism
  • Universality
  • Inter-sectionality
  • Cultural Rights


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