A Forum for Women's Voices: Mediation Through a Feminist Jurisprudential Lens
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This article explores the potential that mediation offers to women as a forum to tell their stories in their own voices. Part I explains the process of mediation. Part II examines the interplay of law, mediation and women, suggesting that the adversarial system has failed to acknowledge women and neglected to hear their voices or listen to their stories. This section also investigates the role of mediation within the legal system and the dangers adherent in that position. Part III introduces feminism and feminist jurisprudence. Part IV looks at mediation as an alternative process and explores the vitality of an "ethics of care" and the critical importance of incorporating such an ethic into the dispute resolution processes. Part V considers the dangers of mediation for women and suggests that what are considered weaknesses should be viewed from a perspective of strength. Part VI applies a feminist jurisprudential lens to mediation, advocating that mediation in fact offers women greater opportunity to speak for themselves and share their experiences as women than the traditional adjudicatory system. The article concludes with the suggestion that a feminist framework should continue to influence the future of mediation, ensuring that it remains a woman-friendly process, holding the promise of giving women a place where their voices are heard.