UNM Political Science professor wins award for best human rights book

The Logistics of Gender Justice, co-authored by UNM Political Science Professor Mala Htun, was awarded the Best Human Rights book by the International Studies Association.


Htun sad that she was delighted to win this award. She authored the book along with political science professor S. Laurel Weldon from Purdue University.


“(We) worked on this book for a long time. We hatched the idea long ago, but the course of our lives got in the way of completing the project,” Htun said.


The book discussed how women’s rights evolve in different countries who have different histories and politics. Htun and Weldon built a “massive and original” dataset on women’s rights laws from 70 countries, according to Htun.


Htun said that the two also conducted field work on different continents and spent “countless hours” discussing ideas and concepts that should be included in the final product. They gathered a team researchers from the New School for Social Research and Purdue University to assist with the research.


The National Science Foundation funded the research behind the award-winning book.


“We wrote this book because people–in the academy, in the policy community, and in international organizations–have a tendency to see women’s rights as one thing, as a matter of progress on a single dimension,” Htun said. “We have long argued that women’s rights are multi-dimensional, and that advances in one area, such as gender violence, do not imply advances in another… Different ideas, conflicts, histories, and policy legacies are at stake.”