The authors of this volume seek to contribute to the clarification of the very difficult conceptual and practical questions surrounding the legitimization and permanent protection of human rights in non-Western cultural contexts, specifically in this case Africa. The contributors try to clarify thinking about what ought to constitute human rights in an African context as well as strategies for realizing them within communities and countries. These issues are particularly contentious when the specific point at issue is the promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights, and even more so in relation to the rights of women.
The underlying premise is that there are possibilities for the local promotion of what ought to be universal human rights through processes of cultural transformation over time. While conceding the difficulties and constraints of the relationship between local cultures and the notion of the universality of human rights, the contributors believe that it is both necessary and possible to address these issues by making use of creative possibilities within specific countries.
This thoughtful set of explorations by African scholars and human rights activists adds significantly to our understanding of the complex relationships that exist between culture, religion, law and human rights.