Accepted Paper:

Gender bias within epistemic communities of human rights monitoring  


Julia-Nadine Warrelmann (University of Bielefeld)

Paper long abstract:

I my paper I will deal with standards-based human rights monitoring instruments and how they create a gender-bias concerning human rights violations. For my dissertation I am dealing with human rights and women's rights monitoring instruments and the way they present rights violations. One thesis I have is, that the epistemic community itself inhabits and reproduces a bias within the measurement. My research question consequently is the following: do the epistemic communities of human rights monitoring create a biased viewpoint on human rights violations?

I will look at four instruments: the Cingranelli and Richards Human Rights Data Project (CIRI) which measures 15 internationally recognized human rights, the Freedom House measures of civil liberties and political rights, and the Gender Inequality Index des UNDP. Moreover I will look at two indicators of the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (socioeconomic development and equality of opportunity). These instruments all somehow include, either explicitly or implicitly, women's rights violations. I compare the women's rights situation in a handful of countries that show discrepancies between the different measurements (i.e. Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Viet Nam and Russia). My aim is to find hints on the connection between the gendered inequalities in the epistemic cultures of this academic area and the presentation of and the communication about women's rights.

Panel J1
Situating gendered solidarities in epistemic cultures of science, technology, and other areas of academic practice