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Gender justice and women's human rights: perceptions about feminism in Brazilian regional court's decisions

Grant number: 12/16360-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2012
Effective date (End): April 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Law - Special Rights
Principal Investigator:Fabiana Cristina Severi
Grantee:Ana Cláudia Mauer dos Santos
Host Institution: Faculdade de Direito de Ribeirão Preto (FDRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


This research's main issue is the gender asymmetries when it comes to the access to justice and the difficulties in enforcing women human rights. The main purpose is to analyze a set of decisions made by the country's regional Courts of Justice, in which expressions such as "feminism" or "feminist" appear in its content, in order to understand the uses and meanings of woman, female, and feminism present therein, to subsidize legal and normative discussions on women human rights and on a genre's justice establishment. As for secondary goals, it is aimed: a) a literature review on: critical feminist theory, constitutional rights, the justice system democratic enlargement and the role played by the courts of justice; b) identify the textual and contextual elements, in which the terms "feminism" and "feminist" are being cited in decisions; c) categorize these decisions in accordance with its general characteristics (theme, right in question, type of parts, type of action etc.); d) produce inferences and conclusions which are able to dialog with legal and political studies on feminism, gender equality, women's human rights and gradual democracy's enlargement in the justice system. The project takes as theorical references the thoughts conceptualized by Critical Feminist Theories and by law studies under a gender perspective. The study will be carried out from a set of decisions already collected by the FDRP/USP Group of Studies in Human Rights, Democracy and Popular Education (GEDEP) and from the partial results of an analysis already made by this group about the meanings, roles and representations of gender in Brazilian’s justice system. The research's object will be the decisions made by Regional Courts of Justice with the peculiarity of mentioning in their content expressions such as "feminism", "feminist", "feminist movement" and "groups (of) feminists”. In methodological terms, the research will be developed with the approach of Content Analysis (AC), as a new methodological proposal to the study of Law. It is hoped that the research can provide grants for which the Courts of Justice can better understand its practices and seek the redefinition of organizational aspects and content decision-making, in order to incorporate the gender focus in providing judicial review. (AU)

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