Hope Lewis

Document Type



These remarks were delivered at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law (24-27 March 1999, Washington, DC) for a panel on the rule of law vs. cultural authority. The reality for working-class Afro-Caribbean women migrants (called "lionheart gals" by one Caribbean feminist organization) is that both "the rule of law" and "cultural authority" can enhance, or undermine, the protection of fundamental human rights. For lionheart gals, the choice is not between a liberating rule of law and a static, cocoonlike cultural authority. For them, the primary imperative is to use law and culture in a creative struggle for survival against the onslaught of racism, sexism, poverty, nativism and globalization.

Date of Authorship for this Version



Human rights, Globalization, Women, Immigrants, Lionheart gals, Afro-Caribbean, migrants, violence, feminism, discrimination, household workers, racism, sexism, poverty, nativism, Human Rights Law, Women

Original Citation

Originally published in Proceedings of the 93rd Annual Meeting on Violence, Money, Power and Culture: Review the Internationalist Legacy, (Mar. 24-27, 1999, Washington, D.C.), p. 374.