Space and Law, Gender and Land: Using CEDAW to Regulate for Women's Rights to Land in Vanuatu

Vijaya Nagarajan*, Archana Parashar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


International laws such as The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) promise a universal system of rights to varied people in varied places. In many Pacific states this has been translated to mean that women should have the same privileges as men to control, possess and use land. This could not be further from the truth as evidenced by women's experiences in Vanuatu, which bring home the visible and invisible spaces of international law. The insights of legal geographers into the spatialised dimensions of social, political and economic activities, together with those of feminist legal scholars into the gendered nature of law, are invaluable in understanding how some spaces are prioritized while others are devalued. We rely on these insights to uncover the prioritized legal spaces of Vanuatu and to locate them against the lived-in spaces of Vanuatu's women. Becoming aware of the multispatiality of law is the first step in contemplating a landscape where justice can play a part.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-105
Number of pages19
JournalLaw and Critique
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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