Promoting freedom from poverty

Political mobilization and the role of the kensington welfare rights union

Diana Zoelle, Jyl Josephson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Contemporary social policy toward low-income women in the United States, as evidenced both by Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) and by the AFDC programme that preceded it, is in part an artefact of long-standing conceptions of the nature of citizenship. This view sees citizenship as resting primarily on civil and political rights, not on rights with respect to economic, social, and cultural matters. Drawing on scholarly literature on the development of international human rights regimes, the feminist literature that analyses social policy both comparatively and in terms of US domestic policy, and literature regarding contemporary movements among low-income persons, this paper analyses the efforts of one organization, the Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU), to challenge US policy via international human rights law and international enforcement mechanisms. We will suggest that, despite some of the flaws of the KWRU, their approach is a promising one for low-income women. In particular, we wish to suggest that a broader conception of citizenship that takes into account economic, cultural, and social rights is necessary to create a more equitable and democratic polity for women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-25
Number of pages21
JournalFeminist Review
Issue number82
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006

Fingerprint

mobilization
citizenship
low income
welfare
poverty
human rights
social rights
domestic policy
political right
civil rights
reconciliation
economics
artifact
act
organization
responsibility
human being
Law
literature
Political Mobilization

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Gender Studies

Keywords

  • Citizenship
  • Human rights
  • Welfare rights
  • Women

Cite this

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Promoting freedom from poverty : Political mobilization and the role of the kensington welfare rights union. / Zoelle, Diana; Josephson, Jyl.

In: Feminist Review, No. 82, 01.02.2006, p. 5-25.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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AB - Contemporary social policy toward low-income women in the United States, as evidenced both by Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) and by the AFDC programme that preceded it, is in part an artefact of long-standing conceptions of the nature of citizenship. This view sees citizenship as resting primarily on civil and political rights, not on rights with respect to economic, social, and cultural matters. Drawing on scholarly literature on the development of international human rights regimes, the feminist literature that analyses social policy both comparatively and in terms of US domestic policy, and literature regarding contemporary movements among low-income persons, this paper analyses the efforts of one organization, the Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU), to challenge US policy via international human rights law and international enforcement mechanisms. We will suggest that, despite some of the flaws of the KWRU, their approach is a promising one for low-income women. In particular, we wish to suggest that a broader conception of citizenship that takes into account economic, cultural, and social rights is necessary to create a more equitable and democratic polity for women.

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