Sites of Constitutional Struggle for Women’s Equality

Ruth Rubio-Marín, Wen-Chen Chang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Constitutionalism and citizenship have been historical paradigms to advance egalitarian, rights-based visions of political justice. Locating the birth of modern constitutionalism with the French and American Revolutions at the end of the eighteenth century, we realize that even in the West, where the liberal revolutions first led to the affirmation of rights-based constitutionalism proclaiming, as the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen did, the ‘freedom and equality in rights of men at birth’, 1 the word men had to be interpreted literally, and not simply as an expression of the generic use of the masculine terminology. Olympe de Gouges’s almost contemporaneous affirmation that ‘woman is born free and remains equal to man in rights’, 2 through which she intended revolutionary constitutionalism to start on a more sex-egalitarian track, was to remain a desideratum for many years.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Constitutional Law
EditorsMark Tushnet, Thomas Fleiner, Cheryl Saunders
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781138857674
StatePublished - Dec 2012

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