Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics: “Should feminists in rich countries shift their focus to international development?” written by Carolina Flores Henrique
This essay is a joint winner in the Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics undergraduate category.
Written by University of Oxford student, Carolina Flores Henrique
I will argue that feminists should move some of their attention to evidence-based, cost-effective interventions targeted at improving the lives of women in poor countries. In particular, feminists in rich countries should shift resources to supporting interventions that improve health (e.g. fistula treatment), allow women to make their own reproductive choices (e.g. contraception distribution), and empower women economically (e.g. direct cash transfers) in poor countries.
Feminists should fundraise for and donate to effective charities working in these cause areas; bring their skills to researching effective ways to improve women’s
health and economic standing in poor countries; and give more of a voice to women in poor countries and the obstacles they face. Continue reading
On Wednesday last week, Professor Janet Radcliffe Richards gave the last of her three Uehiro lectures on ‘Sex in a Shifting Landscape’. (Here you can find recordings of all three lectures: 1st audio, 1st video, 2nd audio, 2nd video, 3rd audio, 3rd video.)
She emphasised the goal she pursued with these lectures, namely, to demonstrate methods of philosophical reasoning in practice and to show how they can help in coming to useful conclusions. Recapitulating aspects of her first and second lecture, Radcliffe Richards illustrated the methodological approach John Steward Mill used in the dispute about women’s rights in the 19th century to show the weakness of his opponents’ arguments by proving their incoherence.
In the last two centuries, there has been a massive shift in the legal, social and institutional norms surrounding sex – both in terms of women’s rights and regulation of sexual activity. And, undoubtedly, there will be more such shifts in the future – the sexual norms that emerge in the future may well make even the most strident liberals of today blush. What to make of this complex and sometimes confusing landscape? This is the subject of the 2012 Annual Uehiro Lecture Series, entitled ‘Sex in a Shifting Landscape’ and delivered over the next three weeks by Professor Janet Radcliffe Richards. The first lecture occurred on November 14 (you can listen to the podcast here and here), with two more to follow on November 21 and 28. Continue reading