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Women's Rights as Multicultural Claims

Reconfiguring Gender and Diversity in Political Philosophy

Monica Mookherjee

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Reconciles women's rights with multiculturalism - a central problem in contemporary political theory


Monica Mookerjee reconfigures feminism in a way that responds to cultural diversity, by drawing on Iris Young's idea of 'gender as seriality'. she argues that a discourse of rights can be formulated and that this task is crucial to negotiating a balance between women's interests and multicultural justice.

Works through a set of dilemmas in modern liberal democracies:

  • The resurgence of the feminist controversy over the Hindu practice of widow-immolation (sati)
  • Gender-discriminatory Muslim divorce laws in the famous Shah Bano controversy in India
  • Forced marriage in South Asian communities in the UK
  • The rights of evangelical Christian parents to exempt their children from secular education
  • The recent controversy about the rights of Muslim girls to wear the hijab in state schools in France


1. Exclusion, Internalisation, Harm: Contesting Human Rights from Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives
2. Decolonizing the Other's Rights: Feminism, Multiculturalism and the Right to Mediation
3. Consent by Right: Protecting the Rights of Women Cross-Culturally
4. Learning Right Reason: Religious Exemptions and Gender Inequality in Education
5. Rights, Reason, Affectivity? Feminist Multiculturalism and the case of the Hijab

About the Author

Monica Mookherjee is a lecturer in Political Philosophy in the School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy at Keele University. Her main research interests lie in contemporary political philosophy, feminist theory and the politics of multiculturalism. She is the author of a number of journal articles in Critical Review of International Political Philosophy, The Journal of Moral Philosophy, Feminist Theory and Res Publica.


An original and insightful intervention into the already well-covered debate of feminism vs. multiculturalism. The book summarizes and critiques many previous arguments on this topic and introduces a new approach that convincingly brings together feminism and multiculturalism ... Summing Up: Highly Recommended.

- C. Snyder-Hall, George Mason University, Choice

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